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Eric Himan
Supposed Unknown

(Thumbcrown Records)

Circa five years ago, Eric Himan was living in Pittsburgh. He's since moved on -- he's based in Tulsa, Okla., now. Supposed Unknown is his seventh studio album, a collection of soulful acoustic pop tunes a la Ben Harper or post-Soul Coughing Mike Doughty. Earnest tunes about relationships and doing the right thing populate the disc; as it goes on, you begin to sense that Himan really is on your side. Definitely feel-good, if not particularly earth-shattering. (Andy Mulkerin)

Eric Himan. 10:30 p.m. Sat., July 16. Club Café, 56 S. 12th St., South Side. $10. 412-431-4950

 

Connect
Arrival Tactics

(Self-released)

A hit-or-miss collection of nine tracks from the local MC, who collaborates here with some well-known local names (Proseed, Stillborn Identity). The minimal production (drum beats, some understated electronics and guitar) tends to hold back the energy that Connect might otherwise put forth. His writing is good -- positive, and sometimes wonderfully stark in its observational simplicity (as on "Today"), but at times his desire to say what he's feeling in a prosaic manner inhibits his flow. (Andy Mulkerin)

 

Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, conductor Manfred Honeck
Mahler: Symphony No.4

(Exton Hybrid)

This concert performance from last year, of the happiest of Gustav Mahler’s symphonies, comes across cleanly and clearly, and in turns vigorous and  soaring. Mahler first wanted to call it “What the Child Tells Me”; consequently, it is often analyzed as reflecting innocence and humor, but with hints at the sorrows which could lie waiting in adulthood. The moving beauty of the third movement will touch you where you live, even as it wends its way under darker clouds into a few stormy moments before a burst of sunshine returns to the warmth with which the part began. (It’s been said the composer thought that that was the best thing he ever wrote.) Sunhae Im is the soprano singing in the gorgeous final movement; although she does not sound as childlike as would be ideal for Mahler’s conception, her beautiful voice does sound as if touched by angels. (Gordon Spencer)

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