Album Remarks & Appraisals:
With its hard-driving beats, funky rhythms and stellar pop-centric sensibility, vocalist, pianist and composer Peter Cincotti s fourth album, Metropolis, might be perceived as a sharp left turn from the jazz-focused, boy-crooner sound that established his career a decade ago. But Cincotti sees Metropolis, for which he wrote all 12 songs, as more evolutionary than revolutionary, marking his continuance along a musical path that he started mapping as early as age three.
Though Metropolis was the last track completed, it drives the albums theme, which examines the joys and ills of the contemporary urban experience from multiple perspectives. The album is, says Cincotti, meant to be representative of how we live today. It s not one particular city, but the urban landscape in general. I wanted each song to feel like a neighborhood within Metropolis, and for the storylines within the songs to somehow seem as if they were occurring simultaneously.
The album opens with its set piece, the title track, strongly reminiscent of the Pet Shop Boys infectiously propulsive electronica. Later tracks Graffiti Wall, partially inspired by the twentieth anniversary of the Berlin Wall s demolition, and World Gone Crazy, with its condemnation of society s tech-fueled ferocity, further speak to the overarching theme. The remaining tracks focus more on personal tales within this urban jungle. There are, says, Cincotti, a few songs on the album about commitment, beginning with My Religion. It s polar opposite is Forever and Always. Both are about becoming someone else for the sake of a relationship, but the first comes from the dark side of commitment and the second from the light.
Ultimately, Cincotti would like listeners, who nowadays often approach music in terms of individual track downloads rather than complete albums, to listen to the album as an album. I m hoping people will press pause on the craziness of their daily lives and actually experience the entire record. It s a lot to ask in this day and age, but this album is all about creating another world the [quasi-mythical] world of Metropolis and I want them to feel like they've actually been there.
"Metropolis," the fourth album from 28-year old vocalist/pianist/songwriter Peter Cincotti has been released in the U.S. on the Concord label today, May 22nd. Produced by the dynamic John Fields (Switchfoot, Jonas Brothers), the album features 12 original, personal songs by Cincotti.
Cincotti has also just completed writing the music and lyrics to a new musical to premiere this summer at the New York Musical Theater Festival.
Concord Music Group
Though all 12 tracks demonstrate Cincotti's escalating skill and maturity as a songwriter, two are particular standouts. "Madeline" again concerns commitment, but with an intriguing twist. The guy in the piece is unswerving in his long-term dedication to one woman, yet realizes that a former lover will always cloud his memory. "I was interested," says Cincotti, "in the idea of someone from the past forever tainting the present. What it may be like to move forward while accepting the fact that the rest of your life will be haunted by someone you will never have again." And, dovetailing the through themes of modern urban life and romantic entanglements is "Nothing's Enough." Cincotti sees the song as "a big question mark. It concerns [societal] excess; how people my age have become accustomed to quick changes and immediate gratification on every level.
The album's opener/title track is a techno-esque piece is unlike anything that Cincotti has recorded before. But it's a fitting open as it lets audiences know right up front that this is an entirely different record from his previous releases. He follows that up with a straight forward rock style song in 'My Religion.' He sings of how he simply can't get a certain woman out of his mind in this piece. He sings, "I'm making you my religion." That's not to mean he's obsessed with said woman. Rather, he's just all about her. The dance/rock combo style makes for a really interesting listen.
"Metropolis" is quite the change for Peter Cincotti from his self titled, jazz themed debut record that was released over nine years ago. In all the changes that he's shown from that debut to where he is now, Peter Cincotti has proven why he is the great artist that he is. He reinvents himself, rather than taking the easy way out and being redundant with his sound. If the key to comedy is timing, then he has proven that the key to sucess in the entertainment business truly is originality. He has taken risks over and over. And every risk has proven a good one. This time is no different. Even if it doesn't break him out to mainstream pop success, "Metropolis" has proven Peter Cincotti to be not only one of the best jazz or pop artists of the current era, but one of the greatest artists period of his time.
Metropolis is a stylish amalgam of sophisti-pop, adult-alternative and dance-rock, electronica and contemporary, modern soul. The songwriting is top-notch, creative and extremely exciting, Peter's voice is consistently thrilling, soaring to new soulful heights. That voice -- along with songs that show how powerful his updated urbane, passionate contemporary pop-rock can be, like "Madeline", "Do Or Die", "My Religion" -- is what makes "Metropolis" such a promising and successful evolution.
Audio Mixers: John Fields ; Paul David Hager.
Recording information: Studio Wishbone, North Hollywood, CA.
Photographers: Nitin Vadukul; Matajz Hodnik.
Onetime jazz piano wunderkind Peter Cincotti's 2012 effort Metropolis is his fifth studio album and second fully non-jazz release. In that sense, Metropolis picks up nicely where his equally pop/rock-oriented 2007 album East of Angel Town left off. Falling somewhere between the yearning alt-rock vibe of Coldplay and the soulful dance-rock of Maroon 5, this is melodic adult alternative pop with a focus on Cincotti's bright and passionate vocal style. Built around a loose conceptual theme of life and love in the city, Metropolis features such cuts as the cinematic, swooning title track opener, the Rupert Holmes-esque "Do or Die" with its story of elevator office romance, and the sensual and poignant anthem to lost love "Madeline." Elsewhere, Cincotti delves into the driving club-ready dance track "My Religion," the uplifting ballad "Take a Good Look," and the midtempo foot-tapper "Fit You Better." Slick and well-produced with a mix of electric guitars, synths, and beats, as well as plenty of organic-sounding instruments including Cincotti's own piano, Metropolis is a towering pop success. ~ Matt Collar