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Mattei, Marco: Out Of Control

I’m not sure that proclaiming on its hype-sticker that this album houses performances from prog/jazz royalty like Tony Levin, Jerry Marotta, Pat Mastelotto and Chad Wackerman really carries all that much weight these days. I mean, after all, aren’t these guys to be found on countless releases of this type every year? By ‘this type’, what I mean is a solo album from the otherwise pretty much unknown Italian musician and singer Marco Mattei who has crafted a gently progressive, conceptual outing and then hoped that we’ll all be snared by the star-name involvement. Well, here I am reviewing said album, Out Of Control, so whose to say that Marco isn’t right?

The well intentioned “Would I Be Me?” opens the album’s account, a sentiment explored where the question in the song title is addressed by way of pondering whether we’d be the ‘same’ person if we had been born, amongst many suggestions, with a disability, or from a different race, colour or creed…? The ultimate conclusion being that we are in actuality in control of very little of our lives and that everyone else suffers from the same affliction - shouldn’t we therefore be more accommodating of each other? It’s an undeniable truth, other than we are not all born ‘equal’ and hence arguably the idea might well be flawed from the off, or maybe not?

Musically the journey is equally easy to question, with an all too gentle approach only really livened up by the constant changing of ideals, what with prog, rock, country and Eastern themes dipped in and out of on a regular basis. Interestingly, as we journey from that aforementioned opening salvo through “More Intense” and on into “Anymore” so the CD booklet informs us that the lead vocalist changes on an almost song by song basis. And yet, I must admit that with all of the incumbents keeping things slightly dowdy in approach, if I hadn’t read the credits, I might never have noticed. It’s Dave Bond who takes control of the mic on “Would I Be Me”, his wavering earnestness interesting, if a little un-engaging, while it’s the slightly more exuberant Matthew Brown who fails to inject much energy into “Picture In A Frame”. The only really rocking outing in the album’s first half is “Anymore” but the loosely Masters Of Reality lite feel of the riffs and beats leave it even flatter than the more contained offerings.

Nothing much really changes direction in the second half of this CD either, “Void”, with Richard Forrell on vocals, a slightly depressing meander. While, rather unkindly, with four of the album’s latter tracks being instrumentals, it’s hard not to suggest that everything doesn’t just simply run out of steam. With all the big name involvement on Out Of Control there’s no denying that the performances from all involved are top notch, what’s lacking however, is first rate material to truly allow any of them to shine, and ultimately that’s what matters.

Track Listing
1. Would I Be Me?
2. Picture In The Frame
3. More Intense
4. I’ll Be Born
5. Lullaby For You
6. Anymore
7. Tomorrow
8. Void
9. On Your Side
10. After Tomorrow
11. Hidden Gems
12. Gone

Added: April 21st 2022
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: Marco Mattei on bandcamp
Hits: 602
Language: english

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