The name Marcelo Paganini has escaped me in the past as I was unfamiliar with the Brazilian born guitarist until spinning his latest album 2012 Space Traffic Jam. I have to admit the album title had me quite intrigued and upon seeing Tony Kaye and Billy Sherwood (Hammond and bass respectively on "Somewhere Somehow") listed as special guests my interest level increased that much more.
The music here is an amalgamation of progressive/space rock and fusion. Paganini proves to be an excellent guitarist as he leaves his mark on every track. Helping him out are Gary Husband (drums), Marc Madore (bass) and Eumir Deodato (keyboards).
The album begins with "Sphinxes of Babel" a concoction of fusion and space rock. A slow beat and heavy bass lead to heavily processed vocals and riveting guitar work in an almost jam-like atmosphere. The melodic "Crying With A Smile" begins on a gentle note with mellow keys and guitar before some ripping lead work unfolds. "Actor" offers up a short burst of punk influenced rock while "Somewhere Somehow" features some excellent Hammond by Tony Kaye. While the music is excellent and Paganini offers another beauty guitar solo, the production/mix lacks a certain something. Kaye's Hammond is too far buried in the mix as are the lead vocals which sound somewhat murky because of it. It's really a shame because better production values would have made a world of difference. "Lost Secrets" is a heavy slice of psyche infused progressive rock highlighted by Paganini's out of this world guitar pyrotechnics and Madore's ripping bass. In "Last Bart To San Bruno" the guitar is the main instrument as Paganini is in full solo mode most of the track.
Musically speaking this is a fine album and the musicianship is top notch. My main complaint lies in the production which greatly hindered my enjoyment of this release. Hopefully Paganini's next release will address this issue. The music will be all the better for it.
1. Sphinxes of Babel
2. Crying With A Smile
4. Somewhere Somehow
5. Lost Secrets
6. Last Bart To San Bruno
7. B4Ever Now
8. For Real
9. Can't Autograph Your MP3
10. 2012 Space Traffic Jam
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