alissamusto.comAlbum Review: Alissa Musto – What We Saw From the Piano Bar Tessa Roy March 17, 2015 Album Reviews, Featured, Local Spotlight, Reviews Good musicians know how to make minimalism matter. Alissa Musto is among them. With its ever-changing tones and soothing sound, the singer/songwriter’s latest album What We Saw From the Piano Bar is beautifully understated. Cambridge-based singer-songwriter Alissa Musto is no stranger to music. She began participating in piano competitions at five years old and once took a first place prize with her delivery of Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata. She soon went on to receive other accolades, including a “Piano Act of the Year” title at the 2010 Golden Ribby Awards. Today, Musto is a piano teacher, a Harvard student, a performer, and the artist behind What We Saw From the Piano Bar. As evidenced by its title and Musto’s extensive work with the instrument, the album is piano oriented. While there is potential for it to become tiring, the riffs from the keys will not lull listeners to sleep. They serve as the foundation of each track’s mood, forming the ethereal dreamscape of “American Princess,” complementing the reminiscent tone of “Pictures,” and adding to the bright energy of “Brovada.” Album Artwork Musto’s voice, though, plays just as big a role as her piano. She doesn’t croon, she doesn’t belt, and she doesn’t often leave her low to mid-range. But she still begs you to listen. Musto glides in emotional despair in “The Palace,” “Paper only buys paper happiness,” but decides not to stay sad for long. “We’re just some kids at the bar,” she sings in “Kids.” She exhibits as much ease with her vocals as she does with her piano accompaniment. Musto’s lyrics are simple yet profound. At times she is a philosopher, pondering “America’s nicotine” and the true meaning of being free in “Freedom.” But other tracks position Musto as a reminiscent young woman, singing about her “pictures on the wall” in “Pictures.” What We Saw From the Piano Bar will appeal mostly to those looking for something with a low-key, coffee-shop vibe. While it may not be as satisfying to listeners addicted to a big sound, it’s a nice album for when you’re craving a gentler one. Album Review: Alissa Musto - What We Saw From the Piano BarProsConsistent sound throughout, yet doesn’t get boringEffective minimalismConsDoes not appeal to a broad audience Not instrumentally diverseLack of vocal range may fall flat with some listeners8.2Piano QueenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window) Leave a Reply Cancel ReplyYour email address will not be published.CommentName* Email* Website Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Notify me of new posts by email. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.