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Simple Things
Artist: Jim Brickman 
Label: Windham Hill Records
Length: 13/45:07

Pianist Jim Brickman has added the title of author to his resume with his first book, Simple Things.  It is a series of essays about enjoying the small pleasures that life can bring.  His CD of the same name uses the same approach ­ enjoying the sound of a piano and a few other instruments.  No effects, no overproduction, no distortion ­ just a piano, drums, and occasionally a flute or violin.

It is difficult to comment on instrumental tracks, other than to review technique and the mental pictures the songs evoke.  It is very easy to picture some of these songs as a soundtrack for a movie or television show that has yet to be written.  The opening track, "The Promise," seems happy yet melancholy, while "Catching Twilight" has a sense of urgency, almost as if its subject was dealing with a personal crisis.  

There are three vocal tracks here.  The title song features the vocals of Rebecca Lynn Howard, and will be a staple on adult contemporary stations ­ it is only a matter of time before it shows up in a movie somewhere.  "A Mother's Day" is a tribute to the hard work of mothers everywhere, done somewhat in the style of Michael W. Smith. "It Must Be You" is a romantic ballad.

"Another Tuesday Morning" and "Devotion" both showcase Thea Suits on the flute, while percussionist Caito Marcondes appears on several tracks.  

A blend of contemporary and classical, of romantic and contemplative, Simple Things will appeal to lovers of adult contemporary music.  

Brian A. Smith 10/17/2001



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