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Art And Illusion - Art and Illusion CD (album) cover

ART AND ILLUSION

Art And Illusion

 

Eclectic Prog

3.50 | 2 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Neu!mann
Prog Reviewer
4 stars So far, this minor but engaging Italian outfit has been unfairly dismissed on their pages here at Prog Archives. And too bad, because the band's 1990 debut is a genuine diamond in the rough: unpolished, only semi-professional, but with enough promise to easily merit a second listen.

At this stage the band was more a solo project of the multi-talented Luca Sabia (handling all the instruments except classical guitar), and his album presents a not unpleasant blend of radio-friendly Neo Prog with retro-70s stylings. The influence of early GENESIS looms large (of course), but the music is far enough removed from its source of inspiration to at least sound halfway original.

The gentle, pastoral melodies, arranged with disarming homemade simplicity for keyboards and (mostly acoustic) guitar, sometimes even achieve a quasi-symphonic fullness reminiscent of the best MARILLION: check out the melancholy title track, or the 13+ minute mini-epic "Lost In Time" (the title is a reference to Rutger Hauer's dying speech in the film "Blade Runner"). You would never guess the album to be Italian; the Anglo-American sound and English language lyrics place it well outside the mainstream of Rock Progressivo Italiano.

The iffy audio quality is a liability, sounding as if the master tapes had deteriorated over time. But look on the bright side: the background hiss does help to mask the artificial drum programming (later albums would employ an actual percussionist). And at least the price is right. All three Art and Illusion albums (and sundry other miscellany: covers of PETER GABRIEL, VAN DER GRAAF and NICK CAVE songs) can be downloaded free of charge from the band's website: an ingratiating act of rare cyber-charity worth a round of applause all by itself.

Consider it an official bootleg perhaps, or a demo package never intended for public sale. Just ignore the production flaws, and concentrate on the music itself, with an open pair of ears.

Neu!mann | 4/5 |

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