Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Genres: New Age, Pop, Rock, Classical
The pop charts were once regularly haunted by the melodramatic musings of pianists like Liberace, Ferrante and Teicher and Roger Williams, a sensibility that eventually gave way to the more New Age-y affectations of George... more »
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The pop charts were once regularly haunted by the melodramatic musings of pianists like Liberace, Ferrante and Teicher and Roger Williams, a sensibility that eventually gave way to the more New Age-y affectations of George Winston and his fellow Wave-format-friendly ivory ticklers. But if producer David Foster has his way, young Phoenix native William Joseph will do for instrumental piano music what the Foster-mentored Josh Groban, Michal Buble and Renee Olstead have done for classical crossover and crooner revivalism. Joseph is blessed with a forceful technique and an ear for drama (he composed the theme for his hometown NHL Phoenix Coyotes when just a teen) that recalls Williams in his prime, and approaches his material with a kitsch-be-damned, crowd-pleasing verve that occasionally invokes 1970s' prog-rock excesses (the artist's own title track and "Piano Fantasy") without apology. Bolstered by Foster's usual back-row-of -the-balcony production sensibility, Joseph tackles everything from the classics ("Ave Maria," "Eternal"'s reworking of Chopin) to Led Zeppelin (a version of "Kashmir" that's as over-the-top as the original), Kansas (vocalist Garou guests on the bathos-drenched "Dust in the Wind") and even Muse ("Butterflies and Hurricanes" as MOR melodrama) with supreme confidence, if considerably less subtlety. --Jerry McCulley
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A Spectacular Debut
S. Fennell | Somewhere out there.....beneath the pale moon ligh | 08/21/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"There were only three things that I heard about this CD in advance, and the combination of them made me want a copy immediately; 1)William is a virtuoso pianist, 2)He's the current opening act on Josh Groban's tour, 3)His debut CD was produced by David Foster. I have learned in years gone by, if Mr Foster is behind something, I'm more than likely going to love it, and I was definitely not disappointed with this release. "Within" is a spectacular debut album, alternating between classical-styled pieces, (some of which are originals), and flat-out pop piano. Musically, it feels very much like a Josh Groban album, but with a piano as the lead instead of a vocal. The accompaniment is provided by a full orchestra and rhythm section, which unfortunately threaten to overwhelm the piano artistry at times. (Who mixed this cd??) Anyway, over the course of 11 tracks, William proves himself to be an extremely versatile musician, even wearing the hat of composer (a very skilled one, mind you) on 4 of the songs. It's to his credit that some of the best tracks are the ones that he wrote, himself. The piano practically spits fire on the more techically demanding pieces, ("Within" "Piano Fantasy", both written by him), and then goes to the other extreme with great interpretive skills on "Stella's Theme" (written as a tribute to William's piano teacher) and "Se Si Perde Un Amore". Even the cover of Led Zeppelin's "Kashmir" works extremely, and surprisingly, well. It's over-the-top and bombastic, and is a definite highlight. I still do not think that the inclusion of a vocal on "Dust in the Wind" was necessary at all, however. William is a strong enough performer/instrumentalist to carry the entire album; a guest vocalist was not needed at all, and is a little distracting. This is a small point to quibble over, though, since everything else is so strong, and so well-done. I can't wait to see what Mr Joseph does for a follow-up. In the meantime, he deserves for this album to be a huge success."
MovedbyMusic | 08/14/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Wow - this is GENUINELY spectacular. William Joseph pours himself all-out into his piano. He creates so much depth with his finesse. To me he can reach tremendous heights of intense emotion or quietly reduce his sound to a delicate whisper or a murmur. I am always so amazed when any musician can create such dimension with seemingly effortless subtlety.
"Within" reminds me of a thunderstorm and the waves of rain that pound the pavement then retract to a drizzle.
The entire cd weaves its waves through masterful musical passages of crescendos and pianissimo so there is never a dull measure. The arrangement is gentle enough to really allow his expression to come through.
This one is a must own. Enduringly charming.
Emily | Kearney, Nebraska | 09/27/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I was sitting at the Qwest center in Omaha, Nebraska, impatiently waiting for Josh Groban to walk onto the stage. When I thought it was time for the concert to begin, instead a young man strolled out in front of his Yamaha grand, and introduced himself as William Joseph. I was already somewhat curious before he even began to play his music, as I am a dedicated piano player myself.
What I didn't know was how incredibly this man could play. My jaw literally dropped upon hearing only the beginning of the first song. The piano parts are gorgeous, and he also tastefully adds other instruments and synthesizers as the piece continues. I have never heard anything so outrageously excellent before. He really ought to be famous. His last piece, Grace, was so good that I actually had silent tears trickle down my cheeks. Music has never affected me so much that I literally cried...until now.
His whole idea was to do a short performance with a large audience, and get us to want to buy the CD. Well, it worked, because I am listening to it as I play.
Buy this CD. You won't be disappointed. I gurantee it."