I first heard of Billy Childs only recently. I was driving and listening to piano jazz on NPR. I nearly wrecked and had to pull over when I heard his arrangement of Scarborough Fair. It was as if I were listening to a combination of many different musicians speaking through one person, but totally original in it's presentation! Since that moment I've listened to his album Lyric hundreds of times. The best description I could give is that it is music without category, without boundaries, but never goes beyond beautiful, even at it's darkest moments. Billy Childs swims in a sea of classical, jazz, progressive rock, folk, completely blended together in a way that you could never place just what type of music you are really listening to.
I can only tell you what Billy Childs music might be similar to. Much of Lyric reminds me of Chick Corea when he (in my opinion) was at his peak back in the 70's with Leprechaun, Mad Hatter, etc. If you like people like Chick Corea, Oregon, or Oregon's Paul McCandless and Ralph Towner, you will love Billy Childs. If you like Mike Oldfield, or Huw Warren's piano arrangements for folk diva June Tabor, you will like Billy Childs. If you like Keith Emerson of ELP you will like Billy Childs. If you love Chris Botti, or the cool jazz side of Sting, you will like Billy Childs. If you love music of Ravel, Debussy, Durufle, or Alain, Mathias, again, you will love Childs. I would even dare to say that Billy Childs is really the very first person that has truly succeeded in unifying all of these styles of music.
There is a track called on this CD called "Quiescence" I am particularly found of because the main theme, and I don't know if this is intentional or not, sounds very similar to the old theme from the Outer Limits TV show from the 60's. It also sounds like Jerry Goldsmith's main theme for the movie "The Illustrated Man" starring Rod Steiger.
I am also in love with the way this recording is engineered. When listening through headphones I feel that I am listening to the music from the drummer's point of view, in a room with the other instrumentalists set up around me.
I could not recommend this album enough! To people who are musicians, to anyone who loves the very highest quality writing there is, and to people who just appreciate true beauty and sensitivity in music!