July 2015 National Music Reviews

Review: Roger O’Donnell with Julia Kent

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roger odonnell julia kent love and other tragedies album coverRoger O’Donnell with Julia Kent
Love and Other Tragedies

Street: 05.29
Roger O’Donnell with Julia Kent = Peter Broderick + Hauschka + A Winged Victory For the Sullen

For an album centered on the tragic commerce of self-sacrifice for love (which is, when you think about it, a lose-lose situation … barring any sort of hereafter), Love and Other Tragedies nails both the sweeping romanticism of lyrical poetry and the bittersweet diminuendos of wistful recollections of slain lovers through the emotive and cinematic pairing of a grand piano and four cellos. Behind those instruments, respectively, is Roger O’Donnell, responsible for some of the most emotive synthesizer lines in a little band called The Cure, and Julia Kent, who shares string duties in Antony and the Johnsons and once played in Rasputina. The result is nine compositions that explore the deep purchase of interplay between piano and cello, the richness of sonorous cello lines laid interwoven between bucolic and pathos-filled piano lines. Fans of The Cure and contemporary classical music will find much in this record to cling to. –Ryan Hall