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Al Di Meola - The Infinite Desire CD (album) cover

THE INFINITE DESIRE

Al Di Meola

 

Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.14 | 24 ratings

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Flucktrot
Prog Reviewer
3 stars You'd think having an infinite desire would lead to captivating, passionate, and/or original music. Unfortunately, Al di Meola's Infinite Desire is anything but.

That being said, there is still plenty of quality di Meola guitar to go around, with just enough variety in tempos, rhythms, and extra touches (such as violin and sitar effects here and there) to hold your interest. Sure, you won't find the energy or bombast of di Meola's fusion heyday, but the guy still delivers some gorgeous guitar in his signature effortless style.

The strongest pieces are not surprisingly the extended ones. The opener, Beyond the Mirage, features some great combinations of staccato and elongated rips, tastefully played over congas. Istanbul is also a highlight, with plenty of tasty piano fills and sitar effects, as well as a number of extremely fast and clean riffs from di Meola. There is certainly no doubt as to whether he can play fast relative to his younger days! In the Azzura songs, di Meola applies this style to a jazzier number over growling bass, and is largely successful here too.

Unfortunately the album contains a number of forgettable moments. Nearly half of the songs (Valentina, Vezzini, In My Mother's Eyes, etc) are mellow, fairly lazy tunes that can become boring fairly quickly. Of course they are performed well, but I need more energy and progression. Even the title track fits this mold, though here you'll find a stronger melody, as well as a particularly enjoyable guitar countermelody. Those familiar with di Meola's fusion days perusing the track list will quickly be drawn to Race with the Devil on a Turkish Highway--a nod to the breakneck Spanish highway version on his Elegant Gypsy masterpiece. I suppose the major conclusion to be drawn is the racing on a Turkish highway sounds a lot like racing on a Spanish highway, except noticeably slower and with some Arabic wails. I think I'd rather race on the Spanish highway...

By now di Meola fans know pretty much what to expect: lots of Latin-influenced, guitar-driven, instrumental music. With Infinite Desire, di Meola has thrown in just enough Arabic and African influences to keep things interesting, but this is far from his best work in the fusion days.

Flucktrot | 3/5 |

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