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Carnicella, Leo: Super- Sargasso Sea

Leo Carnicella is an Italian-Venezuelan producer and keyboardist, and Super-Sargasso Sea is his first full-length studio album. The cast of musicians for the debut is Leo himself as on keyboards, Mellotron, Moog and vocals, Tony Franklin on bass (fretless and fretted), Beledo on acoustic and electric guitars, and Jan-Vincent Velazco on drums. Fellow Venezuelan singer Alexis Peña contributes with lead vocals on the opener song, and Sir Martin Barré acoustic and electric guitars on the last song of the album.

Out of the bat, “The Place Where Lost Things Go” opens the album on a high note, with a beautiful and melodic bass-keyboards duet later enhanced by some tasty guitar licks… as a fellow Venezuelan I’m excited, Alexis Peña joins the magic on vocals and the song loses some majesty. Is not Peña’s fault, is more in the harmonies and the tonality… I’m assuming parts of this album were put together remotely, perhaps the vocals would have sounded better otherwise? Well, is still a very good song, well chosen to open the album. “Conundrum” is not an easy song to describe, the Floyd-sounding opening gets a little blurry when the vocals hit, this time it seems is Leo himself in charge of the task for the rest of the album, and then some uptempo Afro Caribbean bass lines lead to the body of the song, cool keys and guitars, but the honorable mention goes to the rhythmic section, excellent… perhaps of the more well-balanced songs in the album.

Carnicella starts to lose my interest with the boring college-sounding ballad “Tell Your Mom I’m Not Coming Home”… hast to be said Beledo’s guitar work almost rescues the moment, but not quite… “Balance” is a song I don’t get, the lyrical content improves as do the vocal melodies, but the arrangements are odd, like the “wooooooi” shout interrupting the cool sounding keys, or the heavy synths riffing under the Spanish acoustic guitars, stuff that doesn’t make much sense, at least for me… cool Moog use towards the end. One of the best moments of this album is the too short instrumental “Oblivion”, I would love more of this, pure and melodic, guitars, synths and bass, pristine. “The Place Where Lost Minds Go” is the unquestionable masterpiece of the album, proof of that is Martin Barre’s collaboration, immense by the way. Very well crafted multipart epic that would be a perfect 13 plus minute song if it wasn’t for another bad choice on the arrangements, this time too obvious with the haunting-robotic-menacing-off sounding vocals that unfortunately damage the jazzy and symphonic segment I was enjoying so much, and this happens halfway through the song, so it’s difficult to jump on board back again after that… however, the intricate playing between Martin and Leo truly builds something beautiful and gracious, so it conquers me again, and thankfully the albums closes just the same way it opened, on a high note. There’s nothing really memorable here, but there are multiple segments and moments that if treated the right way (including more fitting vocals) could deliver great things in then future. Cheers

Track list:
  1. The Place Where Lost Things Go (9:33)
  2. Conundrum (5:55)
  3. Tell Your Mom I’m Not Coming Home (3:36)
  4. Balance (4:40)
  5. Oblivion (2:07)
  6. The Place Where Lost Minds Go (13:37)

Added: January 17th 2023
Reviewer: Jose Antonio Marmol
Related Link: Artist @ Bandcamp
Hits: 292
Language: english

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