Thursday, May 29, 2003

Review - True Love Waits: Christopher O'Riley Plays Radiohead

Artist: Christopher O'Riley

Posted on Thu, May 29, 2003 at 4:00 AM

Being perhaps the only critic to not care that there's a new Radiohead record coming out means that "True Love Waits" is a lot easier to listen to as a pop-classical piano album, rather than interpretations of "The Best Songs Ever Written." O'Riley (who you may know as the host of NPR's envy-inspiring "From the Top" show, which highlights the musical talents of absurdly gifted teenagers) is obviously a gifted classical pianist, and his facility with the instrument is ably demonstrated here. Tunes like "Karma Police" and "Fake Plastic Trees" enjoy a melodic gravity from these versions. Yet, to his credit, O'Riley doesn't try to overvalue the songs' importance. Which is good, because though Radiohead may be a great rock band, they're certainly not establishing the modern classical canon with something like "True Love Waits."

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