Dreams Come True is the latest album release by recording artist and pianist KeithTim Anderson. I'm going to begin this review by making it clear that I'm not a big fan of the felted piano sound, a very popular approach in original piano music recording right now. That being said, KeithTim has put an album together that uses this technique perfectly, and the sound of the felt on the piano strings fits the feel of this recording like a glove. From the artwork, to the song concepts, to the recording style, Dreams Come True is an album that flows with a sort of magical creativity. The feel and the quality of the music is almost child-like in its ability to tap into that center of innocent mysticism that we, as humans, possess. Noticeably, KeithTim doesn't go to the ends of the spectrum with these creative elements either. Instead he stays within a certain scope of listening that is safe and comfortable, yet very contemporary and often attention grabbing – without being jarring in any way whatsoever. The balance used to create this kind of album flow is an art unto itself, and in this case has been executed masterfully.
I like to select several songs from an album when I write my reviews, and from this recording we're going to start with the title track “Dreams Come True.” This track kicks the album off in the most appropriate way, grabbing my attention immediately. Fresh, bright sounding tones combine to create an inspired introduction, followed by a piece that sets the mood for the entire album. The slower, contemplative melody within the song intertwines with the sounds of the eighth note theme that's used at the beginning of the piece and is sprinkled throughout. The combination of the two themes compliment each other in a perfectly beautiful blend, and the result is a piece that is both reflective and imaginative, simultaneously. This combination, played out together inside on one song, is fairly uncommon in the music of the solo piano genre and is a breath of fresh air whenever I run into it.
Evermore is the second track on the album, moving steadily along and continuing the flow of the recording with grace and ease. This track is more consistent than the first in feel and melody, bringing a grounding and balanced feel to the listener. The playing is not rubato in any way, staying right on tempo for most of the piece. This is important in that playing a piece more freely changes the feel entirely, and this song does not call for that style of playing in any way. You'd be surprised at how many songs I've heard, played rubato, that simply don't call for it. KeithTim stays true to the feel that this piece demands, and paints a picture that's fluid without being simply a splash of colors on a canvas. The images you see when you listen to this piece will certainly be defined, and yet not crystal clear. A pleasure to listen to, and also something that will keep you engaged throughout without the excess dramatics. It's a piece that is proud to stand on it's own and be exactly what it is.
The Door is another one that stuck out as being a really powerful song in the most understated way. Where is this door? What is it? These are questions you'll ask yourself as you listen to the wonderfully elusive melody that dances throughout the piece. The left hand keeps the pace moving underneath the right hand, which flows over-top in a series of unpredictable musical changes and patterns. Where does this door lead us? My impression while listening to this song is that the door represents a stop in the pathway, a decision in life that will impact how things will be, moving forward. In fact, this door is one of many, each with a purpose unique to it. The purpose of this particular door can only be discovered in the mind of the listener...
In closing my review I'll put it this way: Dreams Come True is not a box of assorted chocolates. Instead, it's a box of the best of several kinds of chocolate to enjoy completely, over and over again. What we have here is a work of art that is contemporary, refined. It's magical and it's creatively engaging, and it's a perfect companion to a quiet evening alone or with a loved one. Light a candle and close your eyes, but don't expect to fall asleep right away. You'll have some musical thoughts to process before that happens. Very highly recommended.