When you hear an album was inspired by the likes of the periodic table, Euclid’s geometry, Kandinsky’s writings and the matter of sound and colour, you get a sneaking suspicion that it might be just a little bit special.
And never one to disappoint, Elements is as breathtakingly beautiful and poignantly polarised as one would expect from one of this generation’s finest classical talents. While much of Ludovico Einaudi’s piano-heavy back catalogue is known by many from Shane Meadow’s This is England franchise, his more experimental material receives little exposure in comparison. An ever-growing presence in more recent releases, the Italian maestro continues his movement into the sphere of electronica with his latest 12-track offering – and with great effect.
Providing the perfect juxtaposition to the likes of the classically classical “ABC” and the all-enveloping opener “Petrichor”, tracks like “Numbers” show Einaudi’s other side, creating a tension that breeds a sense of depth and movement throughout. Nowhere is this more apparent than the emotive “Four Dimensions” – arguably one of the LP’s pinnacles – which is followed immediately by a bassline more suited to a certain Fleetwood Mac banger, forming the backbone of "Elements".
While these more electronic flourishes are to be admired in their own right, the tracks that really stand out are those the Italian composer is best known for. The likes of the ever-evolving “Drop” and strangely sinister “Mountains” show that Einaudi is very much still doing what he does best.
To say his music his cinematic is all too obvious and Einaudi’s ability to create intricate and emotive musical narratives is a rare gift to be admired. With album closer “Song for Gavin”, we see this side of Einaudi that so many know and love – his ability to write effortlessly poignant and heart-rending pieces of wholly immersive music with nothing more needed at his disposal than his trusty Steinway.