Music Review: Peter Cincotti “East of Angel Town”

peter cincottiWhile visiting Edmonton this summer, my friend Don, played me a couple of tunes from “some Foster guy”. When David Foster produces an artist, it’s hard not to pay attention. As soon as I came home, I looked for the CD. The pop ghosts most obviously haunting the CD are those of a young Billy Joel and even younger Elton John. There’s even a little Dave Grusin from the “The Firm” soundtrack (one of the greatest of all times… in my opinion).

On East of Angel Town, Cincotti blazes through an assortment of moods and tempos. He isn’t scared of letting his listeners peak into his heart and see what he’s thinking and feeling, but that’s not to suggest that his music is confessional. Rather, Cincotti is a storyteller. “Angel Town” is an upbeat ode to the place that Cincotti loves, while “Lay Your Body Down Goodbye Philadelphia” is a quiet, serious and thoughtful meditation that’s worth a listen.

He artfully addresses the perverse glamorization of violence on “Make It Out Alive”, the numbing effects of over-privileged upbringings with “Broken Children”, the pressure to succeed on a grand scale on “Another Falling Star”.

“December Boys” is led by its piano melody and grand sonic gestures. Cincotti again ruminates on life as he sees it, knows it and lives it. He is a thinker who uses his lyrics as the vehicle for letting stories unfold, and he effectively sweeps the listener up into his world and his thoughts with this methodology. He’s not as vivid or as detailed as say, Billy Joel, but he gets the job done and still ensnares his audience, not so much by what he says, but how he says it. With Cincotti, it’s all about the delivery of the message; the content of the message is there, and it’s balanced out by the package in which he wraps it.