New age pianist Karen Marie Garrett comes from the classical realm, as indicated by the title of her first album, Classical Serenity. Her second, Pensare, boasted compositions by Beethoven, Chopin, and Mozart, and it was only with her third, Allure of Sanctuary, that she began to introduce original tunes, along with titles by Satie. Her fourth CD, It's About the Rose, takes the logical step of turning to all originals, but Garrett retains her classical focus. She notes that "Vinot and the Seabird" is inspired by Satie's "4 Ogives," but there are echoes of her other classical favorites sprinkled throughout. It's About the Rose is her second album to be produced by new age progenitor Will Ackerman, and his Windham Hill style of becalmed acoustic instrumental music is very much in evidence; it would be easy to imagine this album having come out on Windham Hill. Of course, Garrett cites various inspirations for her compositions, everything from a recently deceased Labrador retriever ("Tally's Lullaby") to an interview remark by actor Matthew McConaughey ("It's About the Rose in the Vase on the Table"). But this isn't really program music, even if the pianist had specific ideas when she was writing. It is slow, contemplative new age music with a classical leaning.
AllMusic Review by William Ruhlmann