Ann Sweeten is an inspiration. Undaunted by her struggles with cancer and leukemia, Sweeten composed and co-produced a new piano album with Will Ackerman and Tom Eaton, her ninth to be recorded at the esteemed Imaginary Road Studios. Making music is how she navigates the darker days of health struggles, and life’s other challenges, such as the loss of her beloved canine companions. The final summation of this period is her neo-classical piano album, Love Walks Through Rain, released on June 9, 2023.
With a career spanning over two decades, Sweeten has established herself as one of the most prominent figures in contemporary instrumental music. Her previous albums have garnered critical acclaim and earned numerous awards and accolades. “Love Walks Through Rain” builds upon Sweeten’s already impressive body of work, showcasing her growth as an artist while maintaining her distinctive style.
Given the weighty subject matter — life, loss, love — one might expect this album to be a bit maudlin, but that is not at all the case. Upon listening, one hears Ann’s lifelong classical training front and center, her fingers effortlessly dancing across the keys, turning emotion into musical light. Her compositions are complemented by premiere musicians Will Ackerman, Eugene Friesen, Nancy Rumble, Charles Bischarat, and Tom Eaton.
Hope springs eternal within Sweeten, a quality that her fans adore, testifying that her music enwraps them like a warm hug. Love Walks Through Rain is filled with complex neoclassical compositions, accented with jazz and new age stylings. “In addition to Ann’s impeccable talents as a pianist, composer, and arranger, the unseen, but deeply felt spiritual dimension that she brings to her music takes her elegant compositions to another level altogether,” reviewer Michael Diamond stated of her 2016 album Where Butterflies Dance, and his summation could be applied to this album as well.
Each and every track tells a personal story, and particularly moving are the songs “Through Jasmine’s Eyes” and “The Shadow of You” which pay tribute to Sweeten’s beloved canine companions, who are featured in poems and pictures in the CD booklet’s generous liner notes. For those who still collect CDs, this is a beautiful limited edition package to explore and treasure.
Ann shares, “Love keeps you going and I have been blessed in that: my husband has always been right by my side. Love is the steady gate as we navigate life’s ups and downs. And my love for my dogs, and their love for me, will always warm my heart and cocoon my soul.”
Listeners will be swept away by this album’s emotional depth and its ability to touch the very core of the human spirit. Love Walks Through Rain is not merely an album; it is an experience that invites listeners to embrace their emotions and join Sweeten in finding solace in her music.
The album was released by Orange Band Records, and is available worldwide today at AnnSweeten.com, Amazon, and on all streaming platforms, accessible at HEARNOW.
I give it a HIGHLY RECOMMENDED rating with an Emotional IQ rating of 4.9!
1 Valley Greene 4:22
2 Glimmer 5:21
3 Seirios 4:08
4 The Winter’s Circle 5:33
5 Love Walks Through Rain 4:54
6 Red – Requiem for an Old Friend 5:58
7 The Hills of Riversong 5:32
8 The Shadow of You 4:38
9 Through Jasmine’s Eyes 5:12
10 Out of the Fog 4:42
11 Valley Greene Orchestral Reprise 4:26