I recently had the pleasure of listening to Kris Baines’ latest album, “Melodies & Interludes, Vol 2.” Kris is a masterful composer and pianist who bares his heart and soul in his music. He is one of the most emotionally expressive pianists I’ve heard. The selections that make up this album are beautiful and evocative, taking the listener on an emotional journey that is joyful and haunting, inspirational and serene. I highly recommend this album!
R Mackert (USA)
I started listening to Kris’ latest album, on a cold, gloomy, Manchester afternoon.....I set time aside in a quiet house, hot chai latte in hand! I was, sooner than I thought, transported by the various beautiful melodies, both energetic and peaceful at the same time, full of differing emotion. What awesome music. A great time of refreshment was had! This album is brilliantly put together. I just wish it went on for longer, so I listened twice. Its the kind of music you would put onto auto replay. Thanks Kris!
R McGhie (United Kingdom)
With a pleasing range of melodies, musical structures, and emotions, Kris Baines has authored another inspirational and artful compilation. Melodies and Interludes Vols. 1 & 2 are suitable for careful listening as well as for background music while studying etc. I enjoyed Melodies & Interludes Vol. 1 very much; I feel that Vol. 2 is even better!
M Eddy (USA)
Melodies and Interludes Vol 2. is truly a masterpiece that takes you through the highs and lows of life. All the way “From the Rubble” to “To Have and To Hold,” it walks you through your life in music. The peaceful times, exciting times, the mournful times, and the joyous moments of life are all portrayed so beautifully in this album. I encourage all to listen.
S Houston (USA)
From the first track, I was hooked! I loved the contrast of the pieces, such easy listening. So easy in fact I had in on repeat! Each piece takes you on a vivid journey, very atmospheric. There is something to be said about composers, as they are able to share a piece of themselves through their music, and Kris certainly has! I would highly recommend this album to piano lovers and those who love easy listening music. This man really does have a gift. Thanks Kris for sharing this treat with us!
K Nemeth (New Zealand)
Review by Kathy Parsons, MainlyPiano.com
I love pianist/composer Kris Baines’ first album of original compositions, but am simply blown away by Melodies & Interludes, Vol. 2 and the emotional range the music expresses. From light-hearted and joyful to the depths of sorrow, the seventeen piano solos are very personal and yet paint a vivid picture of what it means to be human. Although the pieces are a combination of melodic compositions and improvised film-score style interludes, it is difficult to tell the difference. The composed pieces have the free-flowing quality of improvisation and the improvisations hold together as well as more deliberately structured compositions. What is truly remarkable, though, is the expressiveness of the music. There have been a lot of truly great albums released this year, but this is one of the best.
In addition to being a pianist/composer, Kris Baines is a pastor, Bible teacher and the father of eight children. He is originally from the UK, but now lives in New Zealand with his wife and family. Earlier this year, Kris received national acclaim with his solo piano arrangement of New Zealand’s national anthem. The video of the performance was featured on prime-time national TV, gained over 40K views on Facebook and reached #2 on the Easy Listening charts.
Melodies & Interludes, Vol. 2 begins with “Me and My Piano,” which was released as the album’s first single. Light and carefree, it expresses the joy a pianist gets from playing the piano. “From the Rubble” is a tribute to those who died and served during the Christchurch earthquakes in 2010 and 2011. Baines was working as a paramedic at the time and “this composition goes back and forth between the unsettling rumbles of aftershocks, the deep emotion of loss and fear, and the hope-inspiring discovery of life during the many rescue attempts.” Baines uses tremolo in the deep bass of the piano to express the aftershocks, and the more melodic sections are kept simple and deeply heartfelt - an amazingly powerful piece and one of my favorites. I also really like “Waltz for Lilly,” which was composed in honor of Kris’ daughter’s puppy and the fun she brings to their family. I can really relate to this one! The lively and playful “A Day With You” is dedicated to Baines’ wife, Becky, and celebrate their love and friendship. "The Depths of My Heart” expresses emotions that cannot be put into words. Quiet but intense, it’s another favorite. “The Watchmaker” is a gorgeous and haunting tribute to Corrie ten-Boom and her family, who hid many Jewish people during WWII in The Netherlands. They saved many lives but were imprisoned for their efforts. Tender and very graceful, the piece expresses so much! “Gentle Persuasion” is another favorite. One of the interludes, it conveys its message with a soft-spoken intensity that I find compelling. “Memories In the Ballroom” has that dreamy, magical feeling that comes after an especially beautiful experience - love it! As a pastor, I’m sure Baines is often asked to listen to people’s stories of pain and tragedy, and the last four pieces on the album express some of those. “Please Come Home” is a musical cry for someone dear to return. “The Other Room (interlude)” is for the children who have to deal with parental conflict that occurs in “the other room.” “Tribute” is a heartfelt salute to those who have fought wars to preserve our freedom. “Final Words” tells of someone dealing with and coming to terms with a terminal illness, ending with hope and joy as the person is released and is no longer suffering.
Melodies & Interludes, Vol. 2 is one incredible album! Six singles will be released between now and the release date of the full album on October 19, 2018. Pre-orders can be made on Amazon and iTunes, and the singles are/will be available on Amazon, iTunes and CD Baby. I give Melodies & Interludes, Vol. 2 a very enthusiastic two thumbs up!
September 28, 2018
REVIEW BY DICK METCALF, CONTEMPORARY FUSION REVIEWS
The best way to get to know a player is by actually watching them perform… the video below isn’t from Kris’s new release, but it’s recent, and displays a talent for solo piano that’s far above average…
…be sure to SUBSCRIBE to his YouTube channel; you’ll find many other wonderful performances there.
I’m planning on attending his upcoming Seattle concert, too… it would be just superb to watch him perform tunes like the 2:50 “Me and My Piano” from the new release… intimate, but vibrantly full of life!
The expressive touches Kris renders on “Gentle Persuasion” (samples will be available just before 19 October, 2018) are just marvelous… I especially loved his left-hand lower register work on this piece.
Joy abounds on the 2:39 “A Day with You”… in fact, I’ll go so far as to say that this is the most joy-filled piano piece I’ve listened to (yet) in 2018… that’s what really makes Kris’s keyboard work stand out from all the rest… an ability (that few players have) to convey feelings most pleasantly!
After my second complete listen through this tantalizing seventeen-song album, there was no doubt that “Raindrops on the Window” is my personal favorite… you can actually feel the fresh droplets of rain slipping and sliding down the window. Wonderful dynamics on this composition as well.
I give Kris a MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED, with an “EQ” (energy quotient) rating of 4.99 for this excellent solo piano set. Get more information on Kris’s website. Rotcod Zzaj
REVIEW BY Steve Sheppard, One World Music Radio
Smooth, enchanting, fun, warm, emotive and deeply moving, a simply perfect interpretation of life, in one magical musical compilation
[FULL REVIEW COMING SOON!]