Acclaimed jazz pianist and singer-songwriter Alan Chang has unveiled his enthralling new album, “Check Please”. This highly anticipated release marks a significant milestone in Chang’s musical journey, showcasing his unique blend of groovy melodies, skilful instrumentals, and evocative vocals. This acts as the follow-up to Chang’s previous single “Let’s Not Come Down” which features Inara George.
Within the realms of “Check Please”, Alan Chang invites his audience on an enthralling voyage of self-exploration. This musical masterpiece, consisting of ten meticulously crafted tracks, effortlessly threads together a rich tapestry of enchanting melodies that delve into the themes of love and life. In this sonic journey, Chang’s artistic brilliance radiates brightly as he seamlessly merges his profound roots in jazz piano with his profound passion for lyrical storytelling. The result is a multifaceted and profoundly intimate musical encounter.
“It took me a long time to find a sound that speaks to as many of my influences and strengths,” says Chang. “I finally started writing for my voice while blending my years of foundation in jazz piano and my love for songs.”
Chang’s dedication to storytelling is evident throughout “Check Please”, with each track conveying intriguing and real-life messages. The album features notable collaborations with artists like bassist Pino Palladino, David Koz, and Inara George, as well as Russell Elevado, who mixed half of the album. Ryan Lerman and Adam Greenholtz also contributed to the production of the album.
Within the melodies of “Check Please”, there’s a subtle touch of nostalgia, evoking the spirit of ’00s pop music, paired with a soothing and inviting jazz-infused ambience. The playful piano motifs, the graceful rhythm of the drums, and the harmonious layers of vocals in the choruses combine to craft a deeply personal auditory journey that beckons listeners to immerse themselves in the unique world of Alan Chang.
The album kicks off with “Natalie Explain” which is a collaboration with Dave Koz, which is a gritty jazz-pop track that has a tuneful melody and a strong vocal that soars with emotion; a saxophone instrumental segment jumps in, breaking up the piano melodies adding more soul and heart while keeping with the tuneful rhythm.
The very first single, “Love is a Weapon”, follows next, which delves into the complexities of friendships and relationships, inspired by his personal journey of transitioning from a 19-year collaboration with Michael Bublé as his music director to focusing on his own music solo career. It’s an honest emotional track that is paired with a melodic piano backing track that shows his talented musical abilities; the addictive chorus is boldened by female backing singers – we’re not surprised that this was chosen as the first single, it’s effortlessly catchy and sure to get stuck in one’s head.
The latest single follows next, titled “Let’s Not Come Down” featuring Inara George, and it’s a laid-back jazz-pop ballad that has a gentle piano, guitar, and drums backing track that truly allows Chang and George’s vocals shine, fuelled with emotion and heart; a melodic piano segment is added at the end, making this a defining track in “Check Please”.
Track number four is “Rest of my Life” which features Sam Gendel, a soul-jazz track that blends the two genres effortlessly while the lyrics delve into a realistic narrative about being in love and daily occurrences that the audience can connect with. “Only Sight” follows next, which is a chill-breaker track that brings a light ballad with some gorgeous emotion from Chang’s vocals as he hits strong notes and vocal runs; towards the end of the track he showcases his artistic piano freestyle instrumental segment.
The sixth track on the album is “Ms. Finicky”, which sees Chang’s vocals jump straight in giving us a new side to him as he shows his playful lyricism and a backing track full of lively instruments that bring an exuberance and improvisation while also sticking to the melodic rhythms.
“Set Me Free” follows next which is a collaboration with Jean Caze, starting with a drum beat allowing Alan Chang to stand out with his vocals and lyrics, effortlessly connecting with the audience; the song picks up with a harmonic vocal and a more fuller backing track, before bringing it right back down for the next verse, making this an addictive jazz-acoustic track that will be the most iconic song to be heard at his gigs.
“Aperitif” is the next track on the “Check Please” album, which clocks in at just 42 seconds, and is a purely instrumental track bringing life into the listeners making them feel relaxed and at home as alluring melodic piano chords are played, wrapped around rhythmic drums.
“Favorite of the Gods” is next up, bringing a more tuneful sonic sound with a nostalgic feeling of the ’80s as Alan Chang’s vocals kick in adding catchy lyrics and a ’00s grit which sees the track transform from jazz to pop-rock before some electronic keys take us right back to the ’80s – easily the stand-out track from the album and one that listeners will either fall in love with or would rather skip (we could listen to this one on repeat).
The last track on the album is “Wander”, a casual ballad as Chang impresses with his talented piano playing paired with his soulful vocals and honest relatable lyrics about thoughts, feelings, and how sometimes you have to look out for yourself, but that doesn’t mean that you don’t have respect and love for the person you wandered away from – a heartfelt and sincere track possibly about his journey from being Michael Bublé’s musical director and pianist for 19 years before focusing on his own solo career.
Alan Chang’s “Check Please” marks a daring departure from his earlier creations, skillfully blending the essence of jazz with the magnetic charm of pop music. This sophomore solo album cements his status as a rising star in the realm of jazz-infused pop, serving as a testament to his exceptional talent, boundless inspiration, and creative transformation. The album extends a global invitation for audiences to submerge themselves in its captivating melodies and relatable narratives. This collection of tracks promises a musical odyssey that should not be overlooked.
“Check Please”, by Alan Chang, is available to download and stream, right now, across all platforms.
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