“A truly celebratory album brimming with love, life, happiness, gratitude, and all the blessings of home and hearth, this is Michele McLaughlin’s finest work. ‘Home’ is a must-have album for all.” – Dyan Garris, New Age CD
It is said that there’s no place like home. And along with that, we can definitively say there is no solo pianist quite like Michele McLaughlin. With over 1.5 billion streams on major digital platforms, she is certainly doing something right. Michele, a Billboard charting artist, has released 21 albums to multiple awards and award nominations.
Her newest album, “Home,” is about the journey she and her boyfriend, Matt, embarked upon while trying to find their perfect home. Here, from the enchanting “cozy” cover to the 12 delightful solo piano tracks, we are invited along onto and into that joyful journey. The album is heartfelt, deeply authentic, uplifting, inspiring, and optimistic for all, with the universal themes of love, home, and hearth shining through every note.
The album opens with “A New Dream,” which is appropriately dreamy, fully of hope, and perfectly lovely in every way. Just beautiful, it’s a wonderful opening to this warm-hearted album. I love it.
The title track follows and is just as beautiful and engaging. There is a gentle tenderness here that is memorable and emotionally evocative. “In Perfect Harmony” is like a sweet lullaby on some levels and embodies several facets of the concept of harmonious “relationship.” Melodic and flowing, this is great.
If we are lucky enough, we get to wake up to a beautiful view outside the windows of our home and we are able to celebrate a brand-new day. The brief “Joyful Mornings” conjures up images of happiness, domestic contentment, and bliss. This is certainly another piece to love on this album, but I suspect you will want to get the whole thing. There is a comfort here, throughout, that speaks directly to the heart and soul in ways that only this kind of music can.
The quite melodic “Welcome” is sensitively played, with Michele’s velvety touch on the keys, and is another amazingly tranquil, calming, comforting, and welcoming piece. This is a definite favorite on the album, and without question, one for the playlist. We feel genuinely hugged and embraced here. Welcome home.
One exciting thing about a finding and moving into a new home, and the perfect space for you, is the “nesting” process. “Taking Root” paints a lovely soundscape of just that: Here is a space where love can take root, grow, and fully blossom. A masterful melody, great chord progressions, along with perfect cadence, makes this yet another to fall in love with. As I already said, you will want to get the entire album as like a softly glowing fire, it truly warms the heart in every way.
“Hidden Acre” is the name of Michele and Matt’s new home. The perfect home for them, it sits on an acre of land that’s in the city but hidden away in a quiet neighborhood. Sounds ideal to me, and the musical piece reflects that perfection in every nuance. This is so very pretty and is another “must have.”
A home absorbs the energy of the occupants and shared experiences of those who live there, and that energy becomes part of the structure. Michele and Matt bought their new home from people who filled it with love and laughter. “If These Walls Could Talk” is infused with love and is a little faster paced than the others, painting a lush soundscape and gleeful tapestry of wonderful familial times as well as all that is to come.
“Together Again” reminds us that home is where the heart is. When we are apart from those we love, being together again is truly special. Coming home is filled with the light of love. Be sure to listen to the very end for the doorbell sound. What a nice, creative touch to end this beautiful, happy, “homecoming” song.
Our anticipation of anything can leave us in a sort of limbo where uncertainty abounds. Michele and Matt went through a period of not being sure if they should move or renovate their then current space. I’m sure many people can relate. The composition, “Anticipation,” is another true favorite on this album. The cadence and movement are totally perfect, as is the emotion-filled melody. I really love everything about this piece and listened to it many times. I also love the way Michele has masterfully used the lower piano register (as well as the upper), to convey “anticipation.”
Having a home you truly feel at home in, well, there is just no other feeling quite like it. I think “Contentment” sums up that feeling. Contentment oozes out of this composition, which brings comfort and peace to the spirit no matter where you find yourself. Very nicely done.
This album closes out with a song of celebration about being in love and being able to live a wonderful life with the love your life in a most beautiful home. It’s the dream. Brimming with overflowing love, gratitude, and joy, this album is, in my opinion, Michele’s finest work and is immensely enjoyable all through. Aaah. . . yes. . . there really is no place quite like “Home.”
“HOME” is available at: iTunes, Amazon, michelemclaughlin.com, Bandcamp, Pandora, Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon Music, YouTube
Official artist website: https://michelemclaughlin.com/