I am writing about the pianist Rob Grant for the same reason you are likely reading about the 69-year-old serial entrepreneur: He is the father of Lizzy Grant, or Lana Del Rey, the American pop star who has expertly made and managed a mythical cosmology for more than a dozen years. Lana’s career has hinged repeatedly upon inverting tropes from America’s most gilded ages; the daughter landing the daddy a major-label debut late in life fits that inside-out paradigm, a dynastic flip-flop that suggests the family has always deserved what it did not already get.

Grant, the father, seems thrilled to play his part. In the rollout for his balmy piano LP, Lost at Sea, the lifelong boat enthusiast and son of a Navy aviator has cavorted up the Hudson River wearing Hawaiian shirts aboard a borrowed yacht with Lana at his side. Looking like a maritime Mike Pence, he has done his best Brian Wilson while donning Prada leather in a pristine Los Angeles xeriscape. A canny internet huckster with a profitable past, Grant even bought nepodaddy.com, a phrase now festooned across crop tops and badge sets. If Lost at Sea feels like some cosmic joke, kudos to Grant for being its winning and willing punchline, especially a week before his 70th birthday.

Thing is, Lost at Sea is a nice little album. Its 40 minutes are a self-contained wellness playlist of lovely piano miniatures, swaddled in lavish strings from the Budapest Art Orchestra and the graceful electronics of collaborators like Jack Antonoff, the ostensible guy Friday of the Lana empire. “I know I’m not Joni Mitchell/But I’ve got a Dad who plays like Billy Joel,” Lana slyly sings at the start of “Hollywood Bowl,” the second of their two songs together here. But Grant is not that kind of piano man, or at least not on Lost at Sea. Evoking the distant ambient music of Harold Budd and the virally confessional instrumentals of Joep Beving, the gentle Lost at Sea is more sylvan creek than turbulent tide or River of Dreams.

It is also not some austere solo meditation. The party line runs that Lost at Sea stems from an uninterrupted 75-minute improvisation cut in a California studio as workers waited on Lana to arrive during the Blue Bannisters sessions. (That’s Grant playing the piano on closer “Sweet Carolina,” using the same tender touch he displays on his own album.) Sure, that happened, but these 14 tracks were stitched together from sessions on three continents with an oft-sprawling cast.

The bulk of the work rests with Luke Howard, an Australian polyglot of minimalism who specializes in surfeits of the soporific. For most of these tracks, Howard ensconces snippets of Grant’s stepwise melodies inside orchestral tumescence or undergirds them with wispy circuitry. Some pieces are subtle, like “A Beautiful Delirium,” where Mellotron traces the piano like a gray highlighter. Others, like “The Poetry of Wind and Waves,” are only a few turns of the dial from Hollywood score grandeur. In both cases, this is high-production, low-stakes instrumental ambience. If this music of limited opalescence passed you by on a modern Windham Hill sampler during a stony Sunday afternoon, your reverie wouldn’t crack.

The truly captivating tracks avoid that compromised middle-ground. “A Delicate Mist Surrounds Me” is a 61-second solo gem, Grant playing a slow-motion round of chutes and ladders with a simple but reassuring theme. This is the lone moment where it feels like you’re resting your head against the piano’s bulwark while a loved one conjures comfort through the keys. Like those studio hands, I too could sit still in this space for 75 minutes.

To make “The Mermaid’s Lullaby,” which follows, Howard slows and stretches a piece Grant had intended to be a “brief piano interlude” (how most of these songs feel, anyway) until the instrument nearly disappears. It is gorgeous and ghostly, the extended undulations recalling Gavin Bryars’ landmark The Sinking of the Titanic and Nicholas Szczepanik’s wondrous obscurity Please Stop Loving Me. This tandem represents the extremes of Grant’s piano playing—the former as the output itself, the latter as mere input. They’re the pieces that make you consider new possibilities, not merely rest inside instrumental retreads.

For better and worse, Lost at Sea slides comfortably into the Decca Records roster and the wider ranks of contemporary classical crossover—pleasant and inoffensive, a landscape painting fit for the wall behind the couch. It is not an embarrassment, a punchline, or a gimmick. It is also not distinctive enough to transcend its backstory.

Really, what’s most vexing about Grant’s debut is a kind of reverse paternalism, where the father seems incapable of speaking or playing for himself. Lana is the lure to his marquee interviews, the mysterious star tantalizing with familial normalcy. And Howard, Antonoff, and all the rest pad his actual music like they’re a fastidious moving crew, so scared his delicate sounds will break when they encounter the rest of the world that they’ve smothered them in unnecessary padding. Grant’s plaintive and vulnerable piano lines, however modest they may be, are the best thing about an album in turn built and sold around them. Now that the novelty is gone, perhaps everyone can get out of the way and just let Nepo Daddy be Rob Grant.

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Rob Grant: Lost at Sea