Every so often, an artist or band breaks through to mainstream popular culture and manages to transcend the glut of pap floating on the surface there. Classical pianist Christopher O'Riley believes that Radiohead is one of those few acts whose music deserves more than a casual listen; at least that's what he demonstrated when he transcribed fifteen of the band's songs and recorded True Love Waits (Christopher O'Riley Plays Radiohead). The LP is a collection of the British quintet's finest moments, masterfully re-imagined for solo piano, and it reveals the inherent beauty of their compositions.
It's not as if this sort of thing hasn't been attempted before. We've all been in elevators. What's different is the fact that a critically acclaimed classical pianist finds enough in the songs of a million-album-selling rock band to transcribe them into soliloquies for piano that call to mind Debussy, Tchaikovsky and Beethoven, often within the span of a single song. Through these excursions, fans of classical music will likely come to appreciate Radiohead's sublime mastery of the musical language, while fans of Radiohead will be dazzled anew.
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