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  • Angela Aki may be a local star, but her musical style would sound familiar to virtually any audience. In essence, she plays the type of songs heard in romantic movies, when a hero or, more likely, a heroine sits by the window and gazes at the sky, or parts from his/her beloved, or is being embraced by the latter as the final credits roll. In other words, Home is a collection of ballads, which in this particular case are centered on emotional piano lines and a strong female voice, surrounded by professional string/pop arrangements. Comparisons to Jamie Cullum are warranted, as well as to Katie Melua, provided the Anglo-Georgian beauty would switch from guitar strumming to piano tinkling and start singing in Japanese, of course. The point is, however, that Aki plays the same song over and over. Being a lady behind the keys, she could have taken some clues from Tori Amos, but no: where Amosi manages to have a lot of tricks up her sleeve without losing her identity, Aki hardly even varies the tempo ("Kiseki" being an exception), let alone the songwriting approach. It's not necessarily a bad thing -- Home is surely better for those romantic moods than having a fitting song from a sentimental OST on repeat -- but with the listeners who want more than daydreaming fodder the record runs a very big risk of feeling too sappy, even if each individual song is a success. Perhaps Angela Aki is one of those musicians who are better at singles, not LPs, and it's likely no coincidence that she has plenty of the former. ~ Alexey Eremenko
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