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The Piano Guys, the unstoppable classical/pop crossover music stylists, return with their first new studio album since 2014 with Uncharted, Deluxe Edition CD + DVD set. They have become YouTube superstars from their self-made innovative videos that have amassed over 1 BILLION views. Uncharted features all of their recent hits Fight Song/Amazing Grace, A Sky Full of Stars, Hello/Lacrimosa, Jungle Book/Sarabande, all available for the first time on CD. The album also includes the new original song, Okay, featuring TPG's own Al van der Beek on vocals plus more new song surprises. The Deluxe Edition DVD features all of their recent hit music videos including Fight Song shot in Scotland and The Jungle Book shot in Chichen Itza, Mexico.
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I always wind up with duplicate copies of their songs, because I download them as singles when they come out, and then I buy the CD which contains them once THAT comes out!
The DVD is worth the price just to see Jon in his Indiana Jones outfit and cracking the whip, as well as the behind the scenes footage of the filming of "Fight Song".
Before I get to my quibble, I want to say that I've been a TPG fan since the beginning. I've seen them six times in concert and have met them three times at the meet and greets. They are as genuine and lovely as you would think they would be. Just terrific guys and I'm so glad for their success.
Now my quibble: I seem to be in the minority, but I really dislike their new song "Okay". I don't think it sounds anything like what I expect from TPG. While I appreciate the message, I think it's way too pop sounding, and with all of the "Okay-ay-ay" and "Whoa-whoa-whoa" ing, it sounds like something Justin Bieber or one of the boy bands would put out. I really think it's the only miss they've ever had. Not only is the song included in the CD side, but there are two different versions on the DVD side. That was almost enough for me to give this only 4 stars. But that's just my opinion. I'm sure others love this song.
Overall, this is a great CD and a fantastic continuation of the TPG tradition. I'll just be skipping over "Okay".
EDIT (January 14, 2017): I realize reviews are not supposed to be political, but there will be no more Piano Guys for me. I just read that they are performing at the inaugural concert, and that is very disheartening. The Piano Guys are always stating and writing about how they love diversity, how everyone should get along, how we all need to cooperate with one another, and now that all seems to be just a load of hogwash and hypocrisy. By performing at the concert, they are at least implicitly condoning all of the racist, bigoted, misogynistic and other hateful things Trump has said and done--and I don't want to be reminded of that every time I listen to their music. So no more TPG concerts or CDs for me. I'm done. I'm leaving the rating at five stars because it still is an excellent CD, but I cannot now separate the music from the hate they are condoning.
I have become disenchanted with the way CDs are being produced these days. I don't listen to my music on ear buds or an MP3 player for the most part and I enjoy music which has outstanding tonal quality which is a product of the recording itself. So, now that you know my bias, here is my review:
The CD "Uncharted" by the Piano Guys has easily become one of the most listened to in my collection and likely it will remain so for a long while. The first, and most important, reason for this is that the sound is so clear and rich that I didn't think I was listening to a CD at first. I have nothing against the technology, but rather the way most recordings use it. They record at low sampling rates and expect you not to notice what's missing. This CD sounds as if they recorded it at an exceptionally high rate which begs the question: How did they get this quality on to a disc without running out of space? It is beyond me. You will feel the vibration from the strings of Steven's cello and hear the release of the pedals when Jon finishes his phrasing. (Admittedly, I understand you need a decent system to hear this, but most CDs, even with a good system, cannot produce that quality.) So, the sound quality throughout this CD is remarkable and worth the purchase.
Next, the balance of the music catalog, start to finish, doesn't miss a beat. From the opening of "Fight Song/Amazing Grace" to the last note of "Indiana Jones and the Arabian Nights", you will be mesmerized by the draw this music has. Note: This is not good background music for those who appreciate music as they will find themselves stopping whatever they were doing to listen to it.
Finally, as Piano Guys CDs go, this is perhaps their best to date. Certainly something each person will have to decide for themselves, but once you add the bonus DVD to the mix (Deluxe Edition), I think you will agree that you can't find a better (non-live) single source to experience the Piano Guys repertoire.
This is music the way it should be: Good quality sound, good choice selections and great musicians putting it all together. Explore the Uncharted - you won't be disappointed.
"Okay" and "Pirates of the Caribbean" are my two favorites but I truly enjoyed all the songs when I listened to the album for the first time. I recommend the deluxe edition so you can enjoy The Piano Guys videos without having to go onto YouTube. The behind-the-seasons video for "Fight Song/Amazing Grace" was my favorite track on the DVD. I thoroughly enjoyed hearing about how the video was created, what situations had to be dealt with and seeing the actual scenes/vistas where the video was filmed.
If you have never heard the music of The Piano Guys, buy this album and get ready for an amazing experience.
I did not purchase the album from Amazon because I wanted a signed copy (so I bought it straight from The Piano Guys) but I really did buy it.