‘The Manor’ is the debut album from Piano Rach. It has been almost a whole decade in the making. In that time they could have distilled their own malt whisky, completed two masters degrees or created ¾ of a Guns n Roses album. Mathew Parker however decided to dedicate this time to recording and perfecting his debut album.
The result is a theatrical, eclectic and experimental mixture of tracks. It encompasses an orchestral range of instruments from organs to flutes. Perhaps the ten years were spent learning to play all the required instruments in order to complete the album? In today’s market its growing commonplace for all these instruments to be ‘played’ on keyboards or other new fangled technology but I am informed by the accompanying press sheet that they were all in fact played genuinely. So well done Piano Rach.
‘The Manor’ is a truly unique album that is hard to pigeonhole. It can be appreciated for the quality of its instrumental arrangements and its disdain towards the ever increasing trend to be popular and conform to the money making blueprint. This isn’t an album likely to storm the charts. There are no real pop songs here, similarly there are no meaty guitars and no sing a long choruses. It does however include one of my pet hates, which is songs that fade out.
‘The Manor’ crosses musical boundaries incorporating a bohemian and international sound. It is the kind of music that would be played in classy boutique bars and it does have a touch of the pretentious. Despite all its positive attributes I have found it really hard to take a shining to it. Perhaps there is too much going on and it’s being too clever. Perhaps it’s down to this just not being my ‘thing’ but to the right demographic this will likely be well received.
(Available now – July 2011)