Siani, Paolo & Friends Featuring Nuova Idea: Castles, Wings, Stories & Dreams
Paolo Siani and Nuova Idea united to create this album of prog music. This is an epic prog experience full of great instrumentation. Without an English translation, you might miss the story, but the music is interesting enough to tell its own story.
The chessboard like artwork is unique and helps tell the story of the album's concept. The inside artwork in the CD booklet also helps tell the music's story.
Paolo Siani leads the production with drums, vocals, keyboards, bass, and guitars, but he has also featured many other artists on this album including:
Ricky Belloni on electric guitar
Carlo Cantini on violin
Guido Guglielminetti on bass
Mauro Pagani on flute
Alessandro Siani on electronics
Franco Testa on bass
Roberto Tiranti on vocals
Giorgio Usai on Hammond organ
Joe Vescovi on Hammond organ
Marco Zoccheddu on electric guitar and piano
Gianni Alberti on sax
Ottavia Bruno on vocals
Giacomo Caiolo on acoustic guitar
Nadia Enghèben on soprano
Alberto "Artley" Buttarelli on vocals and flute
Diego Gordi on piano
Fabio Gordi on piano
Daniele Pagani on piano
Giuliano Papa on cello
Vittorio Pedrali on vocal recitation
"Un Dono" opens with wind and sounds of heavier and light bells chimes supporting Italian vocal recitation. An eerie and tranquil opening to this rock operetta.
Then the bass, drums and guitars break loose, with the Hammond organ following in pursuit as the growing eerie sound of the "Wizard Intro" takes over. A great instrumental overture to open this album.
Heavy deep bass and guitar along with solid drums gives "Madre Africa" a dark opening. More great instrumental work with bass, keyboards, flute, guitars and vocals. The lyrics are sung in Italian. The drums are powerful and the Hammond supports well. This is the longest track on the album, and Ottavia Bruno's vocals add a female operatic quality to the sound. The flute work is amazing, as is the guitar soloing that follows.
"Questa Penombra e Lenta" opens quietly with soft keys before a drum rolls and the guitar soloing begins. The bell – like keys are great as the vocalist unveils a new section of Italian lyrics. Then a choir – like group of singers joins in to support the lead singer. The title is translated as This Twilight and Slow and the inside cover picture shows sea gulls in the fading light of a sunset. The song takes on that quiet ocean side feeling with the cool keys surrounding the soundscape. The track closes with the sounds of the gulls and the ocean waves.
"Chimera" is a jazzy track with a fast beat and saxophone mixed with those bell chimes and some very cool bass and keyboards. Later the piano takes over and helps make this one of the best tracks on the album with its upbeat sound. The Hammond organ teams up with the piano and sax to make this a definite album highlight.
"The Game", including, "Wizard of your Sky", "Mickey`s", "Jump", and "Wizard of your Life", is the big epic story on the album. It opens with that Hammond, soft cymbals and percussion. Then Roberto Tiranti taking over on vocals and tells the story in Italian. The drums become more pronounced and the riffs get edgier as the power gets cranked up and the driving beat takes over. The echoing effect of Roberto's voice being run through synthesizer is a cool. A violin is added to provide even more dynamic sound.
"Cluster Bombs" is the second longest track on the album and those opening drums and guitar licks almost sound like bombs falling. The Hammond on the other hand sounds like magic. This track is sung in English and the inside CD book is full of the haunting pictures of war. The guitar grinding and sounds of children playing and then crying make this the most emotional song on the album, by far. Tiranti's vocals echo that emotional cry well.
"This Open Show" is also sung with English lyrics as the soft piano opens perfectly with the flute. Alberto Buttarelli leads on vocals and flute and this song serves as a great showcase for his talents, as well as the cello of Guiliano Papa. The piano work is also excellent.
"C`era una Volta" is an instrumental piece which closes the album with excellent keys, guitars and flute.
- Un Dono
- Wizard Intro
- Madre Africa
- Questa Penombra e Lenta
- The Game
- Cluster Bombs
- This Open Show
- C`era una Volta
Added: May 5th 2011
Reviewer: Mark Johnson
Related Link: Black Widow Records
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