Pianist and composer Julian Shore returns with his second album Which Way Now? That explores the different directions which music can take. 

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With the help of a variety of different guests, Julian Shore has managed to create an album that reveals a strength in the composer’s ability to create intensity in his music at a steady and gradual pace effectively.

This can be seen particularly during tracks such as ‘Which Way Now?’ and ‘Pine Needles’ – two of the most confident sounding pieces on the album in comparison with the other compositions which sound as though they have taken the album title literally and unsure which way to go.

But there is no doubting perhaps the sincerity of the album, with its consistent gentleness and sweetness of tone that comes through from beginning to end on the album. By listening to songs such as ‘Alpine’ and ‘All Heart’, listeners get a real sense of the thought and carefulness in the way in which the album has been crafted.

However, this carefulness can also seem like caution and really slows down any of the intensity that the album builds and is frustrating in places to listen to. It is understated which is fine, but sometimes it goes too far with it and loses focus and attention on ‘Moss, Mansion, Sandstorm’ it is particularly noticeable.

It is an album that seems to get lost in what its purpose is and that in turn creates problems for the listener to fully enjoy and appreciate what they hear on Which Way Now? . However, there is still plenty to be enthusiastic about in terms of the quality of performances and the compositions themselves – but the tracks just don’t feel as though they go together with ease on the album.

Which Way Now? Will be available for the 12th February through Tone Rogue Records. Visit Amazon to pre-order the album. 

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