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Area - Tic & Tac CD (album) cover




Rock Progressivo Italiano

2.61 | 47 ratings

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siLLy puPPy
1 stars I could never understand the logic for continuing a musical project once one of the band's most prominent features has left or in the case of Italy's larger-than-life avant-garde jazz-fusion maestros AREA, expire. It was a sad day indeed when the charismatic and innovative vocal frontman Demetrio Stratos succumbed to a severe case of aplastic anemia at the tender age of 34. Everyone knows this sad story. The Doors tried to carry on without Jim Morrison but after two albums realized the obvious. AC/DC did the same after Bon Scott and despite having commercial success, they still pale in comparison. The list goes on as bands like Alice In Chains, Lynyrd Skynyrd, INXS, Mayhem and even more recently Queen have carried on without the signature frontman who was the major force in their ascent to the top.

While pop and metal bands can often continue, for a completely unique and talented band like AREA with such an unreplaceable figurehead, the tall task seemed virtually impossible. And impossible it was. When Stratos met his untimely passing on 13 July 1979, the response should've been met with the same clearheaded grace that Led Zeppelin would face the following year in 1980 with John Bonham's passing by retiring the band and let the legacy continue after the chapters have unfairly been written and concluded. However that was NOT the case at all and in the process three of the AREA lineup namely Giulio Capiozzo (drums, vibraphones), Patrizio Fariselli (piano and keys) and Ares Tavalozzi (bass) decided to continue the band without a vocalist! They did however add Larry Nocella as a tenor sax player.

The result of this decision was the release of the lamely titled TIC & TAC which at least is succinctly easier to pronounced than the previous "1978 Gli Dei Se Ne Vanno, Gli Arrabbiati Restano"! While Stratos may have been a major feature in AREA's classic eccentric soundscape, the band was equally as dynamic dishing out ridiculously adventurous and avant-garde musical workouts offering some of the most creative music that the 70s had to offer. It seems that not only Stratos died but in the process so did all the wild and wacky creativity that AREA was so famous for! TIC & TAC has to be one of the absolute lamest attempts to carry on for any band in history. The absolute antithesis of 70s AREA, this one is straight forward jazz fusion that wouldn't sound out of place in some swanky cocktail lounge from some 60s swinging scene.

While i wouldn't call the music presented here as lacking in great jazz musicianship, i would definitely call this one majorly lacking in any kind of musical inspiration. It feels like a hollow template from some jazz academy playbook that demands suspension of a creativity for the sake of conforming to a status quo paradigm. In other words, this music is absolutely awful considering it's AREA, one of Italy's greatest exports in the musical world. I could only stomach this twice for listening, the second time exclusively for this review for i'm so underwhelmed by it all. This is the absolute worst followup album possible after a singer's untimely passing i've ever heard. Thankfully, the members realized the mistake of this train wreck and quickly called it a day. These guys must have been in shock when they did this for i feel the trauma just listening to it. Needless to say, this is as bad as it gets for a once great band in total disarray. Avoid at all costs.

siLLy puPPy | 1/5 |


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