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Marani, P.Y.: Outline

Pierre-Yves Marani is a French guitarist hailing from the Bordeaux region of France. Outline is his debut release and was composed and produced by the artist himself. This is a very well done first album of instrumental progressive rock with elements of fusion that occasionally ventures into metal territory. I have to say this is one of the most melodic prog fusion albums I have heard in an awfully long time. Marani plays guitars, keyboards and bass and is joined by Xavier Richard on drums along with a couple of guest musicians including Derek Sherinian who adds a keyboard solo on one track.

Marani is a good musician and although he takes advantage of his chops throughout the disc he never loses his melodic sensibility as these seven compositions are very well written with some ear worm arrangements that you will be hard pressed to ignore. While the head sticking melodies make this album easy on the ears, the artist changes it up enough to keep things interesting. Guitars and keyboards get equal billing and Marani excels on both instruments. Acoustic guitar is also used frequently and adds a nice touch when called upon. What makes this album a little different than most fusion albums I have heard are the ambient moments scattered throughout the disc. Many of the songs have softer, atmospheric sections which makes this music that much more diverse and dynamically exciting.

Personal highlights include the melodic progressive fusion of "The Harryman's Dream" where Marani does a great job on keyboards and guitar, the moody and atmospheric "Brave New World" infused with dramatic guitar chords and a Gilmour-like solo and "Ubik" where both Denis Cornardeau (guitar) and Derek Sherinian (keyboards) make guest appearances and add some fine solos. The dreamy "Solaris" with its cool electronic vibe, ambient elements and the only tune to feature sax is another fine song.

The disc ends with the eighteen plus minute epic "Goodbye 1984" where fusion guitar solos, quiet piano filled soundscapes and Spanish flavoured acoustic guitar ensure an enjoyable ending to a very good album.

There have been some very good instrumental albums in 2010 and you can add this one to the list. Although there are only seven songs, Marani makes every one of them count. Recommended for fans of instrumental prog and fusion.

Track Listing:
1. The Harryman's Dream (9:35)
2. First Foundation (8:40)
3. Brave New World (5:45)
4. Ubik (9:05)
5. The Rediscovery Of Man (7:30)
6. Solaris (3:45)
7. Goodbye 1984 (18:50)

Added: October 24th 2010
Reviewer: Jon Neudorf
Related Link: Artist's MySpace Page
Hits: 2286
Language: english

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