Sep 25, 2010

Hiromi - Place To Be

Truth be told, I've always been a fan of Hiromi ever since I heard her group's album Time Out. The energy, the flow, and the way she plays the piano in a haphazard yet fluent style. Place To Be isn't the newest album she has released, but it's the one I think that shines her talent the most (not a little helped by fact it's almost all her playing it).

The album starts off with BQE, a frantic yet simple song that somehow reminds me of staircases. It feels like it keeps trying to reach a certain climax, but never really does. Almost feels frustrating, but it is rewarding in its own ways.

Choux A La Creme is as delicious as the title suggests. A very on-the-feet kind of tune. Honestly, it makes me hungry. Perhaps it'll go well in the daily morning routine, when you're rushing about the place trying to sort yourself out, maybe have a bit of fun out of it.

Sicilian Blue is another change of pace. A more somber piece, perhaps even nocturnal. Kinda to listen at night while sipping some good brandy.

On a whole another note, Berne, Baby, Berne! is maybe what arsonists listen to. Scuttling around, settings things alight on fire, and then just as quickly running away. A very energetic and flamboyant piece.

Somewhere is something closer to nostalgia. I am reminded of that time when as I kid, a forest nearby where I live where no one visited. Strolling through the quiet forests, meeting up with a small creek on the way, and just enjoying the quietness of it all. It's a very comforting experience, something to remember fondly of. Probably my most favorite track in the album.

Which brings me to Cape Cod Chips. Unlike what the title tells you, it doesn't actually remind me of fish and chips. Honestly, this song doesn't really remind me of anything. Just because of that, it's an interesting song in its own regard.

Islands Azores will almost be that song that starts off with that piano-hitting kind of sound. That said, it's a song that kind of reminds me of an island vacation. Not the kind where you sit around enjoy the sunlight; this is more of having a swimming race with the natives, pulling practical jokes involving jellyfish, and digging big holes as traps, kind of thing. Something I maybe did as a kid?

And I guess everyone has to have a cover of Pachelbel's Canon, right? Only real difference between this version and all others is that Hiromi seems to have placed something on her grand piano's strings. Something metallic, maybe a spoon. Nonetheless, interesting. But like well-done steak, kinda overdone.

Next three songs start with the same title of Viva! Vegas. Maybe Hiromi had a visit to Vegas and had some revelations from the neon light castles. In any case, Show City,Show Girl is that kind of song I'd think I could hear with people dancing with top hats and a cane. Very danceable.

Daytime in Las Vegas is maybe more for when the partying has ended, and everyone's taking it easy for the day. Perhaps idly sitting around a cafe, and having a small lunch with friends. A very contrast to what Las Vegas stands for, but maybe it signifies that people can't party forever? Maybe comes with a tinge of regret here and there from the last night.

Now, The Gambler is a really interesting song. I think it's a story about a gambler, who comes into a casino to really try his luck at a roulette. First time he tries, as a ball skips around, just doesn't quite make it. Saddened but not defeated, he bets yet again. This time, JACKPOT. Excited and in a courageous feeling of winning streak, he is now all over the casino floor, kissing everyone and betting everything he earned. Very lively song.

Place To Be is just like Somewhere; it's very nostalgic as well. But perhaps it's not actually about reminiscing; it's more of a new place to visit, finding different kinds of happiness. In the end though, you can't help but feel homesick. Lovely end to the album.

Overall, another fine addition to Hiromi's discography. A varied and wide range of mood swings, it's really an album I'd recommend for those who're looking for times gone past, new excitement, and general feeling of completion and fulfillment.


  1. You really felt those tracks, cool.

  2. The depth of your insight is amazing. And thanks for the recommendation, I am fast becoming a fan. Great, eclectic playing style. Such an extroverted artist. I guess all the best ones are.