FFWD | November 5, 2009
By Jesse Locke

With the cluttered desks of music reviewers, editors and bloggers around the world, it takes something special to motivate the unwrapping of an unknown artist’s promo CD. In the case of Bulgarian-born, Toronto-based pianist Todor Kobakov, it’s the fact that his solo debut features Emily Haines and TV On The Radio’s Tunde Adebimpe as guest vocalists on one song each. Those are pleasant enough (the latter, “Loving Hands,” flirting with Antony and the Johnsons) but the real story is told by the nine remaining instrumentals. Tickling the ivories with the grace and eccentricity of early 20th century avantgardist Erik Satie, Kobakov’s emphasis on melody, recurring themes and brief compositions successfully provides a “pop” accessibility. Recommended for the ADD-addled among us who can still enjoy a pretty piano tune.