New York born composer, songwriter and performer Peter Block inherited his grandfather’s 1926 Steinway piano and began writing at an early age. He has since go on to perform in Manhattan at venues such as Catch a Rising Star, Dangerfield’s, and Improvisation, opening for such greats as Robin Williams, Billy Crystal, and Jerry Seinfeld. And to this day he still owns his grandfather’s piano.
If well-written and elegantly performed adult contemporary music is your thing, it’s hard to beat Peter Block. Chock full of catchy and tender songs, just as intelligently and impeccably written and performed as anything that Elton John and Billy Joel has delivered to us, “A New Beginning” is an album to drool over.
There is no questioning the album’s merit and worthiness, or its rightful place in the upper hierarchy of Adult Contemporary music where it belongs. It is a masterfully created piece of art that so rightfully deserves any success and praise it may receive. This is an album that can appeal on many different levels – the pastel tones and lusciously layered music makes this great to play as background music with the dial turned down just a notch, but the lyrics are very thoughtful and will offer tons of pleasure to those wanting to give this album their undivided attention.
Then just switch the dial up and tune into songs like “Spend All My Nights”, “Open Door”, “This Is Real”, “Desert Into Rain” and “And Everything After”, and be swept away by the sheer power and intensity of Peter Block’s soaring vocals and the superb musical arrangements.
Each song has its own distinct style, as Block somehow makes his voice go from delicate and understanding to strong and passionate in the very next line. He is able to blaze across any tempo or mood with ease. Listen to him groove through a funky beat like “Everyday”, or a strummed and picked guitar tune such as “Suppertime”, and then the rhythm and soul track “This Is Real”.
This is Block at the peak of his melodic craftsmanship – something very hard to believe considering Peter had an accident in 2005 and broke his neck. Subsequent surgery injured his vocal chords and it wasn’t until he traveled to Germany and received an artificial disc replacement and later on got stem cells put in that miraculously repaired his otherwise permanently damaged vocal chords.
While the production is very much contemporary on “A New Beginning”, the flavor of the music itself fully maintains a classic feel. This is timeless, ageless music that just could never be tossed aside. Producer Richie Cannata who has worked with Billy Joel for years, as well as many others such as Jennifer Lopez, Celine Dion, Mariah Carey, and The Beach Boys among others, has done a superb job in supplying just the right sound and musical atmosphere for Peter Block to immerse his talents into.
If I was forced to describe this album in only one single word, it would be ‘flawless’!