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NoSound - Scintilla CD (album) cover

SCINTILLA

NoSound

 

Psychedelic/Space Rock

3.64 | 42 ratings

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BrufordFreak
4 stars I have loved the soundscapes created by Giancarlo Erra since I first heard them with 2008's wonderful LightDark, but, I have to admit that with each successive release (or discovery--as in the back logue of Sol29) the NoSound sound began to feel old, stale, monotonous. Scintilla offers a bit of a change in direction for Giancarlo Erra and company--more emotional range expressed through sometimes more acoustic, more bare, less electronically filled soundscapes. I like this. A lot. In fact, next to LightDark this is now my favorite

1. "Short Story" (2:24) simple and so sparse in its opening 50 seconds, yet simply gorgeous. When drums and other instruments join in it does spoil the established mood--especially the marching band-like Sigur Rs-like drums. (9/10)

2. "Last Lunch" (7:00) great empty atmospherics and awesome final minute with drums, bass, and distant vocal. My favorite song on the album. (10/10)

3. "Little Man" (4:38) opens with promise as a nice glockenspiel-like keyboard tinkles around, but then drums, guitar and voice enter and it becomes a very typical NoSound song. The chorus is nice and the following return to the simple innocence of the opening keyboard sound is reassuring. Really cool guitar/slide guitar solo in the fourth minute followed by a breakdown into wonderfully sparse simplicity to the end. (8/10)

4. "In Celebration Of Life" (5:34) opens very spaciously with slow, deliberate notes and chords from both electric piano and acoustic guitar. Piano, bass and drums add a nice foundation without taking away from the mood. Giancarlo and Vince Cavanaugh sing of the abundance of life before one of Giancarlo's searing guitar solos takes over. Kind of set up as an instrumental, this is the perfect NoSound song. (9/10)

5. "Sogno E Incendio" (4:44) is a wonderfully romantic song sung in Italian (grce Andrea Chimenti). To me, this exemplifies all that is unique and wonderful about Italian pop singers. I would like to hear Giancarlo sing in Italian. I like the guitar tone chosen for the solo in the third minute and then the other screaming one for the finale. More! (9/10)

6. "Emily" (3:19) Though I like the drum, cello and trumpet synth work here, the song sounds weird, tired, and redundant. (8/10)

7. "The Perfect Wife" (7:27) opens with electric guitar arpeggi that sound like they're right out of some classic rock ballad. Then the typical slow-paced rhythm section joins in. Giancarlo sings in a quite, almost folk tone, but then the chorus amps things up--including multiple tracks of Giancarlo's vocal. Nice change up but, in the end, the song does nothing extraordinary. Piano and cello part is okay. (8/10)

8. "Love Is Forever" (2:51) piano based with haunting synth working in the background as Giancarlo sings plaintively, maybe bitterly, between and within. Reminds me of Jacques Brel's "Ne me quitte pas." (8/10)

9. "Evil Smile" (4:33) opens with two drum hits before acoustic guitar, bass, drums, voice and piano complete the ensemble. There's something special about this one that I can't put my finger on--something in the chord or key structure. Or perhaps it's just that more acoustic sound. (9/10)

10. "Scintilla" (6:27) opens with acoustic guitar and 'distant' synth and spacey electric guitar notes. Piano joins and the buzz-saw-like synth sound moves forward causing the soundscape to start to thicken. Singing does not commence until the two minute mark. Giancarlo's stark, untreated voice is front and center but kind of buried by the instruments--a very cool effect! Around 3:35 the voice starts to get a bit overpowered by the instruments but then, as if purposefully, the song switches to a foundation of arpeggiated piano chords--and Giancarlo is finished singing. Sadly, some marching band snares and fake sounding trumpets diminish the song's mood and beauty. Could've been great had they left it alone. (8/10)

A very good album offering a new, more stripped down sound for the NoSound fans.

BrufordFreak | 4/5 |

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