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Ciccada - A Child In The Mirror CD (album) cover

A CHILD IN THE MIRROR

Ciccada

 

Eclectic Prog

3.82 | 240 ratings

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kenethlevine
Special Collaborator
Prog-Folk Team
3 stars With no releases since 2016 and no reviews since 2015, eclectic Greek outfit CICCADA certainly deserves a bump up, and even more so because apparently a long overdue new album is imminent. I first heard them several years back on a prog rock internet station, where the same track seemed to be on fairly steady rotation,; I think it may have been the title cut to this, their first release. Over the last few years I have returned to CICCADA with enthusiasm and some trepidation, hoping almost desperately that eventually they would "click". While I can't say that has happened, I can still heartily recommend this to most fans who enjoy a relatively complex fusion of genres, these being folk, classical, jazz, and even occasional heaviness just for variety.

Characterized by the measured and elegant Evangelia Kozoni on vocals and the multi instrumentalist Nikolas Nikolopoulos who shines on keys and flute, the album is fleshed out by a full band complement and an abounding guest list mostly on strings and winds. Kozoni sings more in the manner of the classically trained, and I can't really compare her to any better known female vocalists, as much because of this unusual quality as because she really doesn't sound like anyone I can think of. Most tunes are sung in English but grant substantial latitude for instrumental interplay. Simplicity and complexity are well balanced, and the band does favour challenging time shifts and abrupt mood changes. Too often these serve to steer me on the wayward path of the addled attention deprived. It has been noted that, apart from valid comparisons to JETHRO TULL and GENTLE GIANT, "A Child in the Mirror" calls to mind GRYPHON's acclaimed "Red Queen to Gryphon 3", but is thankfully much less clinical.

While I mostly enjoy most of the pieces here, I'm hard pressed to underscore even one number that is truly outstanding not just from a creative or arrangement standpoint but for beginning to end appeal. Still, I get paid to name names, so I choose the delicate title track, the instrumental "Storyteller's Dream" for its recorder and organ flourishes, and the pastoral "Epirus". If you listen you will probably have your own favourites that might not intersect with mine at all. That is a good quality in a recording...to a point.

As much as it is a magnificently accomplished debut, "A Child in the Mirror" suggests I have some growing up to do in musical appreciation. I hope all my teachers will be this stimulating.

kenethlevine | 3/5 |

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