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Franck Carducci - Oddity CD (album) cover

ODDITY

Franck Carducci

 

Crossover Prog

3.47 | 83 ratings

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lukretio
4 stars Very impressive debut album, looking forward to the sequel!

"Oddity" is the debut album of multi-instrumentalist Franck Carducci. Franck is the lead voice on all songs of the album, and also plays all basses, acoustic and electric guitars and keys. The album features several guest musicians, most notably John Hackett, who contributes flute parts on the opening track, drummer and Phil Collins' disciple Phildas Bhakta, who also plays on the first track of the album, folk singer Yanne Matis who lends her beautiful voice to "The Eyes of Age" and to Genesis' cover "The Carpet Crawlers", and drummer Larry Crockett, who features on the bluesy "Alice's Eerie Dream".

"Oddity" contains 5 original songs and two bonus tracks, Genesis' "The Carpet Crawlers" and a radio edit of "Alice's Eerie Dream". The songs cover a variety of musical styles, from prog to blues rock to country and folk. Regardless of the particular style, all songs are skilfully executed and wonderfully composed ? they always keeps you interested and never drag. Surely, some of the music may sound somewhat derivative (Genesis and Pink Floyd are the most obvious classic influences to me, but also Spocks' Beard among the most recent prog outfits). However, and most importantly, all songs are great fun to listen to.

The opening "Achilles" and the closer "The Last Oddity" are probably the 'prog highlights' of the album. "Achilles" is a symphonic suite in six parts inspired by Omer's Iliad. The parts flow seamlessly one into another, and contains some great vocal melodies (Franck's voice is outstanding throughout the album) and excellent instrumental interludes (John Hackett's flute parts are particularly nice). "The Last Oddity" is a darker piece, inspired by Kubrick's "2001: A Space Odyssey". A delicate acoustic guitar arpeggio, dreamy synth solos and interspersed otherworldly voices (Franck singing through a Leslie cabinet) give the first half of the song a spacey, dramatic feel which reminds me of Pink Floyd. Then the song surprisingly develops into a soulful, bluesy piece with some great electric guitar and Hammond work ? highly entertaining! The remaining three tracks are perhaps less 'progressive' in style, but nonetheless very good. "The Quind" is a meditative, Floydian song featuring some beautiful piano and acoustic guitar textures. Check out the inventive use of a didgeridoo over Hammond and acoustic guitar starting at mark 6:10. "The Eyes of Age" starts with a country feel but soon develops into a pastoral, folkish piece with violins, piano and double vocal melodies. This song reminds me of some RPI music (e.g. Angelo Branduardi). It is a very positive and uplifting track and one of my favourites of the album. "Alice's Eerie Dream" is a blues rock piece featuring some nice lead guitar work by Michael Strobel. It is probably the most 'ordinary' and mainstream track on the album and it sounds slightly too much as an exercise in style to me, but it is nevertheless an enjoyable song. I should also mention the excellent rendition of "The Carpet Crawlers", which witnesses Franck's passion for Genesis that also transpires throughout the album.

Overall, "Oddity" is a strong debut album, featuring some excellent songs which are great fun to listen to. I find particularly interesting the mixing of blues and folk with more traditional progressive rock sounds as in "The Last Oddity" and "The Eyes of Age". You can have a (free) listen and judge by yourself at Franck's Bandcamp page!

lukretio | 4/5 |

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