Pianist Nils Frahm is practically a household name these days and while his latest album All Melody definitely delivers on what you'd hope for, it’s also an introspective exploration of just what makes a guy like Frahm tick.

In truth, calling him a pianist is barely viable at this point. After building his own studio over the course of two years in East Germany’s Funkhaus building, where he created everything from a pipe organ to the woodwork, it’s no surprise to find these earthy tones throughout All Melody. There’s no grand concept here as with records like Felt and Screws, just a guy exploring new possibilities with new toys.

It overarching simplicity is its melancholy feeling, but turn it up and there’s intricacy hiding in plain sight. ‘My Friend the Forest’ is a piano ode as classic as they come but touches like hearing the hammer of the keys are what you really get lost in. There’s bird song in the background of an unnervingly intense lone trumpet on ‘Human Range’ that gives way to breathy woodwinds and orchestral chants. In many ways it’s reminiscent of the distillation of life we saw on Tomorrow, In a Year but while that was distinctly impenetrable this has a fluidity that eases you through like the very life coursing through your veins.

The heart beat bass that kick starts ‘#2’ bleeds into electronic synthesizers seamlessly without ever really disappearing and therein lies the beauty of this record; everything is connected. Over the course of these 74 minutes you’ll hear motifs of melody that rise to the forefront as if you’ve already visited them, but they always turn a new corner. The brooding pipe organ intro of ‘Momentum’ with soft choral peaks is one such occasion whereby Frahm diverts your expectations into another universe of sound. Firmly in that universe is the flitting ‘Kaleidoscope’, easily the most electronic mix we’ve heard from Frahm yet.

Tonally this isn’t an upbeat piece and is all modestly low tempo. It’s easy to conjur images of ‘the starving artist’ or ‘tortured genius’ listening to the rapping of bass marimba on ‘Fundamental Values’, but then again Nils Frahm just might be a genius.

All Melody is a profound statement of intent and if you listen to any one track alone it’s been achieved, but if you take in its entirety its been shattered and remodeled through Frahm’s limitless imagination.