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Roversi; Cristiano: AntiQua

Italian keyboard player and composer Cristiano Roversi has performed with a hugely respected cast of musicians, counting everyone from John Wetton and Steve Hackett, to Bernando Lanzetti and Massimo Zamboni as collaborators. AntiQua is his third solo album and one where he has gone back to the early Genesis sound of his own early band Submarine Silence. The production on this beautifully put together and packaged CD is sublime (the artwork from Ed Unitsky is worth the price alone), with a clear, rewarding tone allowing each and every one of the numerous musicians here to show their worth.

With a mixture of English and Italian lyrics, some may find the words on this album difficult to relate to, however while admiring the musicianship and skilled arrangements greatly, I have to admit that my main stumbling block towards feeling fully engaged with this album is the sheer one pacedness of the whole thing. Based round gentle keyboard and mellotron themes and utilising acoustic guitars in a laid back, bare style for the vast majority of this album leaves it dangerously close to background music and an easy album to forget about, even while you are listening to it. Make the effort, slap the phones on the ears and the effects and emotions do shine more brightly, but even in this "zone-out" state, the likes of the floating ambience of "Nessie Revealed", or "Dimlit Tavern" soon start to wear thin on the old attention scale. It is a harsh criticism, especially when considering just how crafted and cared for this album undoubtedly is. However I'd be lying if I was to suggest that at any stage I've managed to get from start to finish of AntiQua without having my imagination run off in a different direction, or simply forget that it is on. Then factor in some questionable vocals and the quibbles become greater in size to the extent that they begin to outweigh the obvious plus points that the atmospheric, swaying mood music does possess.

If you like you prog easy going, less than a challenge and distinctly background in nature then there are numerous delights in store for you here. However for those of us needing something more sprightly, confrontational, or plain interesting, then AntiQua will be an enigma of impressive constituent parts that resolutely refuse to satisfy when experienced as a whole.

The artwork really is stunning though.......

Track Listing
1. Morning In AntiQua
2. A Silent Rite
3. Tales From Solitude
4. Crave Some Loneliness
5. East Or West?
6. L'Amore
7. Nessie Revealed
8. Falling
9. Celestial Slowfall
10. Dimlit Tavern
11. Nirayed's Secret Diary
12. AntiQua
13. Evening In AntiQua

Added: February 22nd 2013
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: Cristiano Roversi Online
Hits: 1582
Language: english

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