Peter Cincotti

Concord Music Group, 2012

REVIEW BY: Duke Egbert


Long-time members of the DV Faithful Millions (and I do mean longtime) will remember that Peter Cincotti has graced these pages once before, with his debut CD. On that fine piece of work, a very young (19) Cincotti nailed an album’s worth of jazz standards – this after he played the Montreux Jazz Festival at the tender age of 17.

So, you might well ask, what’s he been doing since then?

After two albums of more or less traditional vocal jazz, he hooked up with producer David Foster (Chicago, Josh Groban, Christina Aguilera, Madonna, 16 Grammy awards, et cetera, et cetera) and began exploring a more pop-tinged sound. His first CD in that vein, my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250 East Of Angel Town, will show up here at some point, but today we’re looking at Cincotti’s fourth CD, Metropolis.

How to describe this CD? Cincotti is all over the map here, but in a good way; he proves himself musically flexible to the point where he’s the pop music equivalent of a Cirque du Soleil performer. There are, however, both hits and misses on Metropolis. “Do Or Die” is a clever, bouncy song about wanting to seize an important moment; “Take A Good Look” is a heartbreaking end-of-the-relationship tearjerker; and “Magnetic” is about the inevitability of returning to a forbidden relationship. (“Magnetic” includes some extremely clever lines: “Making all the same mistakes / As my moral compass breaks…” is by far the best.)

However, “Graffiti Wall” and “Nothing’s Enough” don’t quite work as well. “Wall” is disjointed – great melody, weak lyrics – and “Nothing’s Enough” comes off as preachy. In addition, the title track is just…odd. I’ve listened to this album dozens of times, and I still haven’t decided if I like it. I have decided, however, that it should be the soundtrack to a Bioshock game.

Then there’s “Madeline.”

A song about the one that got away, “Madeline” is a four-minute punch in the gut. Yes, it’s personal for me, and no, I’m not going to go into details, but “Madeline” is one of the few songs that can make me cry, no matter how many times I’ve heard it. Sometimes, a songwriter hits perfection (Tom Smith’s “A Boy And His Frog,” Fred Small’s “Denmark 1943,”Carrie Newcomer’s “Lazarus”). This is one of those. Cherish it.

Is Metropolis a little uneven at times? Yes. Is it still worth your time? Definitely. There’s not a lot of intelligent pop music in the world; let’s enjoy what we do have.

Rating: B+

User Rating: Not Yet Rated



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