On the Moon
First Appeared in The Music Box, November 2004, Volume 11, #11
Written by John Metzger
There’s little doubt that Peter Cincotti is a talented pianist, and any notion to the contrary quickly will be dispelled by his whimsical interpretation of Ray Noble’s Cherokee or the sprightly and imaginative solo he delivers on a cover of Cole Porter’s I Love Paris. He also isn’t afraid to take a few risks, delightfully submersing William Handy’s St. Louis Blues in a funky, hip-hop-inflected groove and turning Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Bali Ha’i into a percolating, Steely Dan-inspired, jazz-blues romp. The problems with his sophomore effort On the Moon, however, lie with Cincotti’s vocals as well as his desire to venture into more pop-oriented fare. At the age of 21, he simply lacks the maturity and experience to convey much emotional resonance, and while his voice is smooth and graceful, there’s little substance behind it. Making matters worse are some of the lightweight arrangements employed on the set, such as the Elton John-meets-Disney preciousness of the title track and the airy softness brought to bear on the Gerry Goffin/Carole King-penned compositions Some Kind of Wonderful and Up on the Roof. At his best, Cincotti is a fusion of the styles of Harry Connick, Jr., Bobby Darin, and Ray Charles, but unfortunately, his desire for massive mainstream acceptance causes him to slip into territory that is closer in spirit to Paul Anka or, even worse, Barry Manilow. ˝
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1 Star: Pitiful
2 Stars: Listenable
3 Stars: Respectable
4 Stars: Excellent
5 Stars: Can't Live Without It!!
Copyright © 2004 The Music Box