Hovig Nassanian Tributes Album Review
Hovig Nassanian Tributes Album Review
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Hailing originally from Lebanon, with an Armenian heritage, Hovig Nassanian is a composer and pianist who has been playing the piano since four years old, composing his first original piece in his early teenage years. Hovig has since found a home in Cyprus, where he lives, and continues his career in teaching. The pianist has released two previous full-length projects (“Peaceful” and “Peaceful Christmas”) making this his third album.

The Tribute Review

One of the many things I enjoy about reviewing music is that it plunges you into genres outside of your immediate perspective. Whilst I have dabbled in listening to compilations of pianists such as Bill Evans and Thelonius Monk, I have never actually sat down and listened to a full piano album from start to finish, making reviewing this album almost a completely new experience for me. Luckily for me, however, Hovig feels like a pianist who embraces the ear of newcomers, as well as more seasoned instrumentalists.

To begin with, whilst listening to the first song, the idea of listening to one sole instrument for a whole album seemed daunting to me. As a rap fan I’m used to loud bass, eccentric adlibs, and clever wordplay, with this album there was only Hovig and his piano. However, Hovig proves that sometimes all you need is an instrument and an imagination in order to tell a story. “Mè Mèmè” is a fine example of what I mean. Through four variations, Hovig takes us on a journey through the life of “Grandma Vehanoush”, the woman to whom the song is tributed, using the delicate keys of his piano alone.

The song “Anna” in particular showed me how much emotion can be conveyed using the piano. It’s unclear whether the song is about love or heartbreak, but I think that’s the beauty of it, it’s about both simultaneously and, depending on what the listener is going through, the meaning of the song is interchangeable.

“April 24”  feels simple, to begin with, but soon fills itself up with a grandiose atmosphere that exudes a sense of importance and sadness. The grandiosity soon quells down into a slow sense of acceptance, as if Hovig recognizes the pain of whatever this date means to him, yet he is moving on from it.

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One of my only gripes with the album is the intro. Its tone feels too flowery and whimsical compared to the exceptionally emotional tone of the rest of the songs on the album, and for me, it just falls flat when compared to some of the other more interesting songs like “Anna” or “April 24”.

As my first experience listening to a solo piano album, Hovig has not only impressed me, but convinced me to explore more work of the genre, and that might well be the best compliment you can give an artist. If there are any music fans looking for a way to get into the world of piano, I feel like Hovig’s music would be a good entry point. As for more seasoned fans of the genre, I see no reason why they can’t enjoy this album in the same way I did.

Check out all the stories behind each track on the album Here

SCORE/Excellent: Hovig shows great complexity and emotion without being pretentious, making this an excellent listen for newcomers like myself and yet still interesting for people who know their way around a set of black-and-white keys. Give it a listen!

Follow Hovig Nassanian:
Instagram: https://instagram.com/hovig_official
Facebook: https://facebook.com/hovigpiano
Twitter: https://twitter.com/hovignassanian
Buy Tribute On Apple
Youtube Channel
Official Website: https://necessarykuriosity.com

[I rank albums on a scale of: Poor, Mediocre, Good, Excellent, Outstanding].

Written by Jake Campbell.

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