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Piano Magic

Life Has Not Finished With Me Yet

(Saint Marie; US: 12 Jun 2012; UK: 11 Jun 2012)

For the band’s new album, Life Has Not Finished With Me Yet, Piano Magic retreated from the barrage of guitars that filled past albums to focus on negative space and electronic shadows. The result is an unrepentantly dark record that may have sweet beauty to it, but it hides under the chilly vibe of these songs. This new focus on spare percussion and echoing electronic flourishes does work, particularly when Angele David-Guillou coos hauntingly over “Sing Something” or when frontman Franck Alba injects an earworm hook into the odd blips of “Chemicals (20 mgs)”. These moments find the band at their best, but these highlights get dragged down by an album that trudges along, too content to bed down in its own shadow. For every “Sing Something”, there’s an overdone, overlong number like “The Way We Treat The Animals” or the overly atmospheric “A Secret Never Told” to bring the album to a halt. The thin layers Piano Magic works with here can be effective, but they could stand to pick up the tempo quite a bit, because for all the heart that seeps out of the best parts here, too much of it sounds like it doesn’t have a pulse.

Rating:

Matthew Fiander is a music critic for PopMatters and Prefix Magazine. He also writes fiction and his work has appeared in The Yalobusha Review. He received his M.F.A. in Creative Writing from UNC-Greensboro and currently teaches writing and literature at High Point University in High Point, NC. You can follow him on Twitter at @mattfiander.


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Piano Magic - Album Trailer
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