Piano Magic Ovations

Piano Magic Ovations
Piano Magic must have a very committed cult following because despite the fact they've jumped from label to label during their 15-year career, they're still around. Their tenth full-length, Ovations, is yet another solid record that should elevate their profile in a way they truly deserve. But it probably won't. Their knack for convincing musicians to return to the studio after some time away continues, like they did with Vashti Bunyan previously on 2002's Writers Without Homes. This time around it is Brendan Perry and Peter Ulrich, formally of Dead Can Dance. When Perry's unmistakable voice sets the tone on the opening song, and then Ulrich dusts off his dulcimer on the next track, it looks like this might turn into a Dead Can Dance record. But the band's typical gloomy electronica punctuates the gothic atmosphere to make Piano Magic's most varied album in some time. There is still an almost clinical detachment to their music, which should reduce its emotional impact. The band call it "ghost rock," yet there's no denying the intensity that "The Faint Horizon" ends with. And their absolute commitment to creating something ominous and imposing is exactly what makes them such a reliable and worthy act. (Darla)