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Dan Kennedy – Bloom Road Review

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It is impossible to feel down when you are walking or driving on a blooming road. This is also the feeling Dan Kennedy is communicating on his new release Bloom Road. It is a fresh feel-good album with a poetic touch.

Bloom Road is classically trained pianist Dan Kennedy’s third album. It is the follow-up to 2012’s Intuition. Now the rock inspirations have been replaced by flute and saxophone. Something has remained unchanged thought; Dan’s playfulness. He’s never afraid to break genre conventions.

Sweet Rain
The album starts with the song Moonrise featuring David Rose. The gentle synth pad, David’s flute and, eventually, Dan’s piano, make this into a quiet and thoughtful opening of the album. Fans of Peter Kater and Carlos N. Nakai will feel right at home. Next song out, Prayer for Janet, is a solo piano melody where Dan’s skills as a musical storyteller really shines. The song’s mix of strong emotions and a healthy dose of hope are impossible not to be affected by.

Sweet Rain is something completely different. The scratchy LP effect and sound of thunder, the drum box, plus piano and flute, are an eclectic mix. It reminds me of late 1980s songs – which in our genre is a good thing. It is a true feel-good track, with the electric feeling of summer rain and thunder. Falling is a contrast to this; here there’s autumn colors and a somber mood. It is not to last, though. Beautiful Day (With You) is wonderful and happy, just like a positive day with the ones you love.

Dulcimer in C Minor is more serious (hence the minor, and, perhaps, in contrast to Dulcimer in G from Dan’s album Lantern). I very much enjoy the ending. A Moment follows beautifully in the same style. The synth pads and gentle strings are quite memorable – even though the moment passes quickly.

The title song starts like the opening track: with piano and flute. Then there’s a very interesting transition with synths and saxophone – which give an entirely different atmosphere. Pop Top has the same groove, and Dan shows that he can play jazz piano too (which was not a big surprise).

Some of the best songs on the album are to be found in the end. Heaven is a magnificent piano melody. Time seems to be standing still while listening to this song. Torrent (featuring Charles Neville) reminds me of Mannheim Steamroller’s Fresh Aire series, with its powerful fusion of jazz and New Age. I’m sure many would enjoy a complete album by Dan in this style. Who Loves You makes sure that the album ends on a high note.

In conclusion: Bloom Road is the best album by Dan Kennedy to date. The album is just as colorful as the cover, and the combination of solo piano and selected guest artists works beautifully.

Yes, this is indeed a blooming road.

Score: 94/100 – See how I rate music here

The album is available on iTunes and Spotify.