Dustin O'Halloran – Vorleben

Album Review by Chris Buckle | 25 May 2011
  • Dustin O'Halloran - Vorleben
Album title: Vorleben
Artist: Dustin O'Halloran
Label: Fat Cat
Release date: 6 Jun

Vorleben will be a tough nut to advertise: “If you buy just one new Dustin O’Halloran album this year” the hyperbole will confidently begin, before stumbling. “it has to be, er…” – well, not Vorleben, as it happens, because O’Halloran already stole its thunder with the superb Lumiere in February.

So while there's absolutely nothing wrong with this live collection of solo piano pieces (the title of which pointedly translates as ‘past life’), it can’t hold a candle to its composer’s other 2011 effort, which is comfortably the more rewarding and innovative listen; by comparison, Vorleben lacks atmosphere, though presumably not for those present in Berlin’s Grunewald Church for its recording.

For anyone planning to throw caution to the wind and purchase two Dustin O’Halloran albums this year, however, Vorleben is unlikely to disappoint, its distillation of the stripped-back style of his early recordings further confirmation of O’Halloran’s prodigious talent.