Anne Lovett’s piano-focused compositions make for a subdued and reflective sophomore album with ‘The Eleventh Hour’. Lovett’s knack for creating simple motifs and space between moments makes her music feel cinematic but classical at the same time and so with an album appealing to both sides of the fence, I wanted to shed light on it in case it falls between the cracks.
Each of the 13 pieces on the album is based around the piano but Anne doesn’t exclusively keep things there. My favourite piece is the opening one ‘At The Same Time’ which perfectly showcases a simple motif and the space for thought as the piano and violin unfurl before you. “What Are We” also plays gently with reverb and distance as different melodies and layers are played in different spaces. “For Now” and “Moonlight” are rolling classical piano pieces that push forward with tempo, poise and muted attack similar to Michael Nyman’s ‘The Piano’ score. There aren’t a lot of points in what is generally a sombre and restrained album that Anne really lets it flow out like a tsunami but the middle section of ‘There Is No Why’ is one of those moments and the bass of the piano rumble is accentuated to rumble on well after a note is struck. It makes the build-up foreboding and thunderous. In similar crescendos ‘L’albatross’ and the frenzied strings of ‘Nocturne’ have moments where the tracks hit a running peak – creating a real emotional stir. The title track and its prequel ‘The Prayer’ then turn to thick string arrangements for the piano to play and their regal beauty shines as a result. ‘Psyche Piano’ takes the percussive hammer of the piano and turns it into a beat for the impressive abstract track which really demonstrates the marvellous skills of Anne Lovett’s hands as they work furiously across the octaves before the album closes off with the pensive ‘Dystopia’ and an arrangement of the opening track to take us full circle.
‘The Eleventh Hour’ was a real grower for me. Initially, I was a bit cold to the album because the classical elements were what hit me first but on returning to the album on several occasions since I’ve really grown to appreciate and enjoy it. There’s a cinematic soundscape I hadn’t initially picked up at first and some really clever yet subtle production tricks that make the compositions come alive. If you are looking for an all new pianist to enjoy – Anne Lovett may well fit your bill.
Recommended track: At The Same Time
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