Jim Brickman

Picture This

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Jim Brickman's simple, straightforward solo piano melodies have made the extraordinary breakthrough onto soft rock radio alongside the Whitney Houstons and Mariah Careys. Perpetuating his belief that less is more, the former jingle writer keeps the romantic pieces on his eloquent third release, Picture This, short and hooky, with most clocking in under three minutes. Though his label association might lean towards his categorization as a new age artist, Brickman is pure pop all the way, with none of the pretentious grandeur of so many of new age's top players. Most of the songs are lighthearted and whimsical, easy to fall in love with and to, but a few (like the moody "Edgewater," which features oboe harmony) hint at a deeper artistry. A tender Martina McBride vocal will no doubt open doors in the country market, but contemporary fans will better enjoy the lush duet Brickman plays with saxman Boney James. It's hardly innovative, but its quiet beauty still runs circles around anything Kenny G's ever done. And it established Brickman as the premier romantic piano sensation of his generation.

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