Thursday, January 29, 2009

Charlie A - Tiny Steps

Hear The Track Here

Funny thing I've noticed with musicians. Whenever one of us is blessed with children - our own or distant relatives - the first thought to enter our brains is 'lets record the baby!'. Don't try and deny it, I KNOW you have all done that at one stage, thinking how cute it would be to make a track with your son/daughter/niece/nephew/next doors child and/or dog. Well I'm here to emblazon one small word into your deluded little brain - NOOOOOOOOO!!! First off, its as tacky as a tacky thing and second, it always proves incredibly difficult to do unless you REALLY know what you are doing. In fact, I can count on one hand all the tracks I have heard where this actually works, and one of those belongs to Charlie A's first track Bebee Bubba (July 2006) - a laugh out loud piece of social commentary. Wait, you cry!

Serious Charlie A? The film soundtrack guy? Yep, we all have our moments eh?

'Take life slowly and don't rush' Charlie says of Tiny Steps so if you were imagining that this were one of those kiddie tracks breathe out your sigh of relief now... Like all of Charlie Armour's (for it is he) tracks, Tiny Steps is short, sweet and to the point. Almost a trademark of this talented multi-instrumentalist. As many of you are only too well aware I have a very short attention span for soundtracks of all descriptions but Charlie A is one of the handful of film soundtrack producers that I do have time for because his music is always extremely well presented and usually worth the listen. Even if, like me, you have an in-built horror of all things soundtracky (Ed: is that even a word?)

Tiny Steps is, for the record, more like a solo piano piece that yer average cinematic bombast, and I must admit I am very partial to a good piano piece. As someone once said, you can never have enough pianos. Charlie is a deft player, even on something as complicated as Tiny Steps, a constantly running refrain that works on the same level as (say) Tubular Bells. More a theme than an actual song. Like many good arrangers, Charlie takes the theme and embellishes it through the three or so minutes of its life so there is never any repetition, giving the listener something new to hear around every corner. Can't swear that I'll be hanging on to this track but that isn't any fault of Charlie's skills as a musician or composer - merely my own preferences.

Excellent, adept and compact piano piece. Highly Recommended.

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