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Franck Carducci - Oddity CD (album) cover

ODDITY

Franck Carducci

 

Crossover Prog

3.48 | 84 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Tarcisio Moura
Prog Reviewer
4 stars Oh, Holland... Iīm falling in love with this country. Well, at least with its prog scene. the bands in there donīt think that great hooks and nice melodies are a sin in the prog rock religion. While the once so promising polish scene seems to be sinking deeper and deeper on the american alternative rock swamp, the dutch artists still cherish what made progressive rock famous: elaborated, complex, and yet accessible and pleasant music. It doesnīt have to be too zany or too complicated to be great. Groups like Flamborough Head, Odyssice, Trion, Leap Day, Nice Beaver and so many others are carrying the flag with pride. And now comes along solo artist Franck Carducci. Somehow I guessed his first solo CD would be good. And I was right.

First of all, the guy is no newbie: I heard heīs been playing for over 20 years in several bands (none famous, as far as I know). Second, he decided to do it under none other than Steve Hackettīs suggestion (for whom he was opening at the time in Holland). So I guessed he: a) had a quite strong repertoire and b) he would be doing it in the melodic and tasteful tradition of most dutch artists. When I put the CD to play I was delighted to hear exactly that: fine crafted songs, a modern, but very organic production and surrounded by excellent musicians. One of the guests was SHīs brother, John on flute.

Carducci plays most instruments and sings all the tracks. His voice is not that great, but he does it with such passion and conviction you end up thinking that, if not great, he is at least the right person to sing them. the arrangements are very well done, and I specially liked the keyboards (lots of Hammond organ) and drum sound (a rare case when the right production and the right musicians meet). But of course nothing would work so well if he hadnīt come up with a bunch of real good songs. And thatīs where Carducciīs power really lies: good, melodic, varied and full of energy set of songs. Ok, nothingīs new here. In fact his influences are easy to trace and he makes no secret of them: Pink Floyd, Genesis, Yes, krautrock, blues and country. In other words, late 60īs/early 70īs stuff. Yet it doesnīt sound dated nor too retro. It is original music inspired by his heroes.

Highlights are many. In fact, itīs hard to point out just one track, they are all quite different from each other. One of those records where different styles are in fine harmony and the CD always seem to be too short, even if it is over one hour of music. A good sign indeed. However, for the average prog fan the opener Achilles, an epic with almost 15 minutes of music (and John Hackettīs flute), is maybe the most appealing one. If you want to get a taste of what Carducciīs all about, go straight to this tune. He even goes as far as covering one fo Genesis most beautiful and well known songs: The Carpet Crawlers. A bold move where he succeeds in what most people fails: he kept the original feeling and melody while adding his own mark on it (I just loved the violin line on the chorus).

Conclusion: Oddity is a very strong debut in any way you look at it. Franck Carducci proves to be a talented and promising artist. Iīm looking forward to hear his next works. Holland has geven us one more reason to just love this country!

Rating: something between 4 and 4.5 stars. Highly recommended!

Tarcisio Moura | 4/5 |

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