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Woods of Chaos (solo piano)
Artist: Rob Costlow
Label: Tourist Records (2005)
Running Length: 47 minutes
Tourist Records 0327 (37101-03273)

Rob Costlow’s Woods of Chaos is his second, solo piano CD to be released this year. “Sophomore Jinx” being the first. Costlow’s usual style is to find a comfortable chord pattern and then repeat it. This is what hampered his first CD, “Sophomore Jinx.” 

In that CD, Costlow presented his audience with nine pieces, two of which were in the eight-minute length. Now, Costlow has ten selections, the longest of which is over six minutes and this makes a difference.  The pieces have melody and are interesting to listen to. This CD is a definite improvement and shows growth.

“Semester Days” is lyrical, and so are “Down the Road,” Tulip Trees” and “Woods of Chaos.”  “Down the Road” and “Woods of Chaos” are in minor keys and beckon the listener to follow. “Tulip Trees” has creative melody and a memorable flowing line 

The weakest selection on this CD is “Reflections” which begins with a chord, hymn-like phrase and is rather plain compared to the rest of the pieces. The piano bass tone twang that was heard on “Sophomore Jinx” is not as apparent in this CD, except on “Reflections.” It was distracting to me. 

Rob Costlow certainly shows momentum in his second CD, Woods of Chaos. A melodic quality and energy is there and this makes all the difference. Wonder what the third CD will bring?

Copyright 2005 Marie Asner
Submitted 6/15/05



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