JIM BRICKMAN, Home
Since the release of his debut album No Words, in 1994, pianist/composer Jim Brickman has not only become, as his website bills him, "America's Romantic Piano Sensation," but a cottage industry unto himself. His simply gorgeous melodies, charismatic performances, and keen pop songwriting skills and collaborations with great pop, country, and Christian artists have not only driven millions in sales, but have led to multiple awards, several Grammy nominations, and countless compilations and gift sets.
His albums often center around themes, and the one that seems dominant on Home is, true to its title, a down-home country flavor achieved with the help of Don Reed's fiddle and Don Rooke's lap steel guitar. The first 13 tracks, some solo piano pieces, and others are pure pop instrumental glory enhanced with gentle instrumentation, roll like a charming, relaxing day on the front porch. Always eager to work with vocalists, some famous and others up and coming, Brickman concludes the regular edition with a soulful, soaring ballad sung by the passionately raspy former American Idol contestant Matt Giraud.
The deluxe edition, which is well worth whatever it costs, features three more wonderfully lovelorn vocals, "Welcome Home" (featuring Robin Meade), the spiritually minded "What We Believe In" (with country star Ty Herndon) and the anthem-like "Breathe, Dream, Pray Love," fashioned as a duet by Canadian singer Mark Masri and Australian star Delta Goodrem. Brickman is both a prolific artist/composer and a marketing genius, and constantly rewards his fans with more music to fall in love with and to. After tackling universal love on Beautiful World and exploring Joy in 2009, this one was a hearty welcome Home.