You'll smile listening to the first song of The Billy Burke Estate's Let Your Heart Break. Singer/Writer Andy Liotta has created a collection of sometimes witty, sometimes touching intelligent piano pop music. You have to listen to this album to appreciate it. This isn't background music.
The piano driven songs of the album remind me in part of Broadway musicals like Avenue Q, Rent or Hair. At its best, imagine if Squeeze wrote for musical theatre. At its worst, imagine Billy Joel making musicals (oh wait, he did!). There are also hints of '70s era MOR songs.
The songs are stories set to music. Each song sounds well-crafted, specific and careful. "99 Liberty Lane" is a quick lyrical tap dance, and "Hold On" is a beautiful song of loneliness (though it may fall too close to melodrama). "Like I See You" is one of the few songs that suffers from being overly crafted, as it seems too tight for the nature of the song and ends up being a little monotonous. The songs carefully descend into a mellow sadness of sorts, not melancholy but more about lessons in uncertainty. The title song ends the album with some return to lightness detailing a machine that transforms loss into light.
Let You Heart Break is an interesting album. I'm left wishing there were more playful songs like "99 Liberty Line." As it is, the songs are put together beautifully — this is craftsman furniture, not IKEA. With that said, I think there's something that goes too far, too pristine.