Limited-edition deluxe package of film composer at the old joanna

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Craig Armstrong – Piano Works

Of course this music has atmosphere. Delicate minor themes played on a grand piano with cavernous reverb. It’s not hard. However, whether Craig Armstrong giving us his latest thoughts in the saddest of all keys is actually any good is another question. A lauded film composer and mood merchant (for Baz Luhrmann, Massive Attack and, particularly gruesomely, Richard Curtis), Armstrongese stripped down to black and white keys is pretty thin stuff; middlebrow minimalism masquerading as depth. It barely approaches the romantic wit of Badalamenti, the substance of Nyman or the sheer yearning of Barry, and compared to the Scandinavian misery-meisters (Svennson, Gustavson et al), it’s child’s play. Too much of it sounds like another-day-another-doodle sketching?the giveaway that’ll-do signature of an efficient jobbing composer.