David J. Peña
The mood filled opuses of David J. Peña are truly something to behold, it is a rare musical commodity to have, that wonderful ability to paint with music and to do so with such emotion and power. David J. Peña is a master of his craft and his latest album The Journey is a veritable art gallery of tone, splendour and passion.
His opening foray entitled The Sun Will Rise Again has to be one of the most inspiring and uplifting piano creations I have heard this year, we all need a little lift now and then, and this song should be an anthem for those moments, his performance on piano is nothing more than a sparkling pastiche of sublime genius, and simply the perfect way with which to start the album.
Kaleidoscope is our next port of call and we have yet another full flowing manifestation to enjoy here, the symphonic back drop in a majority of the artists’ works are perfection; here on this piece he brings into the world a musical narrative that is both memorable and tender, and that little extra percussive energy just elevated the composition even further.
This next piece is a beautiful dedication and called Tribute to W. Tx Pianist Doug Smith. There is a gentle energy that runs through this piece that makes it so very attractive, this is one of those arrangements that whilst moving in its manifestation, is also fairly anthem like in its overall construction.
One of the most emotional tracks on this blissful new release is the following composition entitled You Took My Heart With You, this has many elements within its creation, but the melody that runs through this song is one of the most emotive I have heard for a while, the artist pulls this piece from the deepest labyrinths of his heart, and for some reason at times it also reminds me of George Harrison’s “While My Guitar Gently Weeps”, this is simply a composition of sublime quality, soundtrack music with ease.
This classy album is a 10 track compilation of brilliance and nestled at the midway point is the title header itself. The Journey proposes many questions, as we each have our own journey’s to take, but somehow Peña seems to have created a soundtrack for each and every one of them. I found this piece to be incredibly personal, very powerful and incredibly inspiring.
The curiously entitled Eerie Night is now upon us, the dark days of winter have now fallen and storms rage outside my window, and yes, I have just set the scene for this track in my world. The performance is grand, but deeply mysterious, and the fluency of this creation simply draws me into a realm of perhaps a Poe styled reality, “Take thy beak from out my heart, and take thy form from off my door, quoth the Raven Nevermore."
Now by complete contrast we move to a wonderfully upbeat and vibrant track entitled Good Feeling, and this song truly manifests that mood with a sumptuous ease, the elevated performance builds an energy of positivity around us, and this driving ever onward piano narrative with its added orchestration, is just the musical cure to blow away those previously aforementioned winter blues.
From my earliest memories, I have always liked to gaze upwards into the night sky in great and grateful wonderment at the view, here on Stargazing the artist brings one of his most colourful creations to our musical table, just listen to the delicacy of performance, the fluency of composition, and the overwhelming sense of joy contained within, this for me has to be one of Peña’s best creations thus far, there is so much within this arrangement, it would be advisable to take a multitude of listens to it, just to enjoy each and every nuance.
The light and crisp presentation on the track New Beginnings, whilst listening, I could see the first few buds of spring poke their heads above the layers of a receding snowline, this creation has many levels in it, and also many moods to, the gentleness retains its centre point, but juxtaposes brilliantly with the more powerful segments, in what must be Peña’s most creative work thus far.
The release is concluded with a fine manifestation called Breakout, a song that in its initial stages, you will find yourself literally waiting for it to explode, and being the ever masterful creator of sublime piano works, David J. Peña gives you that moment, but in a measured and climatic way, with just the right amount of build progression and crescendo. At just over the half way mark there is no returning, and the artist brings you a driving rock ballad to finish the project with, in a way that even Elton John would have been proud of.
The Journey by David J. Peña in my view is the best work of the artist thus far, David has given us everything here, mind, body and soul, he has touched the sensitive nature of our hearts, raised our heads for a better day with a beautiful energy of inspiration, intrigued us with a moment of mystery, and completely rocked it up to conclude what is an outstanding release, how can anyone not have an album this good in their collections, it’s a must have at all costs.