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Alex Carpani Band - So Close, So Far CD (album) cover


Alex Carpani Band


Symphonic Prog

3.26 | 52 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars "So Close, So Far" is fourth album by Alex Carpani and was released in 2016 on the independent label Ma.Ra.Cash Records with a line up featuring Alex Carpani (keyboards, programming, vocals), Ettore Salati (acoustic and electric guitar), Joe Sal (vocals, guitar), Giambattista Giorgi (bass) and Martino Malacrida (drums). If compared with his previous works, it marks a deliberate change of musical direction veering to an elaborated A.O.R. and leaving behind vintage instruments and symphonic prog in favour of a modern, simpler sound. All the tracks have a common thread, the difficulty to communicate with each other even in an era dominated by social media and by a technology that seem to create interpersonal barriers instead to help us to break them down. The artwork by Gigi Cavalli Cocchi tries to capture the image of this world in reverse...

The opener "The Eve" is a short, melancholic instrumental track that leads to the lively, melodic "I Tried And Tried" where rays of light pass through heavy clouds and distant marching steps resound in the air, growing like shadows from an obscure past. Musically, memories from the eighties are knocking at the door...

The lyrics of the following "Man On The Wire" conjure up the image of a man walking on the thin rope of life between madness and fear, trying to avoid the tricks of everyday life. Here the music every now and again reminds me of Ultravox...

The bitter-sweet "Stay With Me" opens with an acoustic guitar arpeggio, the music and lyrics try to evoke the scent of the sea and a sense of inner magic sweeping off fears and doubts... A good style council where more eighties influences are mixed with a shy touch of prog!

The nervous "In Your Absence" starts by an aggressive electric guitar riff and drives you into the frenzied nightlife of a modern city, bewitched by the scent and memories of a missing lover while the following "Let My Drop Of Sweat Fall Down" is a good rock ballad about the need to push your heart against the tide and stretching out your limits.

The nocturnal "Crystal Falls" tells in music and words about a solitary, regenerating walk under the moon and the falling stars... Then it's the turn of the dreamy "One Face, One Lie" that begins with an excerpt from famous Martin Luther King's speech "Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break Silence": "I come to this magnificent house of worship tonight because my conscience leaves me no other choice... A time comes when silence is betrayal... The truth of these words is beyond doubt but the mission to which they call us is a most difficult one...". As Martin Luther King's words fade away the music and lyrics portray a man meeting a ghost, one day at home... Or it was just his image reflected by a mirror? Well, like all dreams, this one has its own illogicality and truth and lies are blurred.

The light "Next Time" features electronic sounds and catching melodies while the lyrics describe the attitude to postpone decisions as time flies away. It leads to the melancholic, introspective last track, "The Last Sign", a reflection about the relativity of life and time.

On the whole, this is a nice, accessible album but beware! Many prog lovers could by highly disappointed by Alex Carpani's new course.

andrea | 3/5 |


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