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Marco Antônio Araújo - Influências CD (album) cover


Marco Antônio Araújo


Prog Folk

3.82 | 32 ratings

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2 stars Influences factor into the best works of even the most innovative composers and musicians, but there is a subtle and critical distinction between influence and inspiration. It separates a technically proficient but cold production from one that becomes an inspiration to the listener, if you will. Unfortunately, in the case of Araujo's debut at least, the title sums up the extent of the accomplishment rather well. In Quebecois French one says "Il parle pour rien dir", which literally translates to "He speaks to say nothing".

The instrumental permutations suggest a better end result, with flutes from Eduardo Delgado and acoustic guitars often stealing the show, but when Araujo's tonally unpleasant leads attempt to wrest control the effect is oppressive. He's like MIKE OLDFIELD at his raunchiest, all the time, without Oldfield's ability to contrast and connect the dots. The buildup in pieces like "Cantares" is wasted by Araujo's interjections time and again, so the listener is left wanting.

Luckily all is not lost. The closer "Folk Song" is by far the best thing here, even if it bears an uncanny resemblance to "Hurtwood Alley" from DAN FOGELBERG and TIM WEISBERG at times. The strummed guitars and flutes dominate, with electric guitar in more of a supportive role. Hand claps and a few shouts paint a picture of a band that is finally allowed to let their hair hand down and show us a little of themselves. The other winner is "Abertura #2" for similar reasons, with both the woodwind and the guitars alternating melodic passages and violoncelo providing support.

In spite of Araujo's obvious talent and his willingness to share the stage with equally competent band mates, I am for the most part unmoved, and I hope I will not be charged with influence peddling for rounding down to two stars.

kenethlevine | 2/5 |


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