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Nova - Wings Of Love CD (album) cover

WINGS OF LOVE

Nova

 

Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.66 | 32 ratings

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Aussie-Byrd-Brother
Special Collaborator
Rock Progressivo Italiano Team
4 stars There are a number of standout Italian jazz-rock/fusion bands from the Seventies that hold a continued interest, with Arti e Mestieri, Venegoni & Co and Perigeo perhaps being the more ambitious and well-known ones, but Nova are also deserving of a bit more attention. 1976's `Wings of Love' was their third album and first with a reworked line-up, but despite the rather drippy title, it still offered very worthwhile material with, of course, absolutely phenomenal musicianship courtesy of the impeccable technical skills expected of the Italian groups. Despite having its smoother and poppier moments, `Wings...' still offers something more adventurous and weighty than mere `smooth jazz' or AOR/radio-friendly tunes, and its strong melodic elements are never at the expense of tightly composed predominantly instrumental moods that still crackle with a spark and finesse.

The band start by dashing through a sprightly and up-tempo killer funky pop-rocker `You Are Light', home to nimble and frantic instrumental dashes, silken harmonies and an infectiously catchy spiritual chorus that will lodge itself in your brain for all eternity! `Marshall Dillion' is a brisk fusion instrumental burst backed to a peppy dance-like beat, then drowsy reflective vocal piece `Blue Lake', one of the album standouts, reminds of Perigeo with its dreamier hazy moods, where seductively murmuring bass duels with piercing electric guitar themes that grow in twisting intensity back and forth. `Beauty Dream/Beauty Flame' holds gentle yet stirring instrumental melodies by way of mysterious faraway flute, delicate acoustic touches and sparkling restrained piano musings, all together bringing a dusty eastern mirage-like mystery.

The flips side's opener `Golden Sky Boat' is another up-tempo funk-popper with addictive and skilfully reprising soaring sax themes and aggressive bass grumbles aplenty. `Loveliness About You' is, unsurprisingly with that title, a sparkling ballad that gently reminds of the more elegant and heartfelt Beach Boys tunes in fleeting little moments amongst some alternatively reflective and sultrier sax musings and sighing group harmonies. `Inner Star' unleashes plenty of fast-paced red- hot electric guitar soloing tearing through spirited and almost whimsically cheerful flute breaks and a soulful vocal, the track almost sounding like something from the `Borboletta'-period Santana band, and `Last Silence' is a final reflective jazzy come-down of great taste and restraint flecked with breezy Moog trills.

Some will find the smoother or more openly romantic qualities too sappy, and the music is too concerned with marrying a funky pop sound to the instrumental runs to perhaps fully impress the more intense jazz-fusion followers, but `Wings of Love' offers plenty of thoughtful and energetic music throughout the entire disc, topped off with sublime vocals, and it makes for a classy LP by a talented group of musicians.

Four stars.

Aussie-Byrd-Brother | 4/5 |

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