Accordo Dei Contrari return to the public’s ear in 2011 with their second full-length album, Kublai. This new album follows their 2007 release, Kinesis, which to my ears was a pleasant, energetic and enjoyable listen and signaled a promising future.
Indeed, this future is now realized with Kublai. The new album is much more diverse, filled with different influences and sounds; from jazz-rock (most of the album) to progressive rock (throughout the album) to a ballad (first part of L’Ombra di un Sogno) to Arabic elements (Arabesque). The band playing morphs from faint and delicate to heavy and powerful and back again.
There are 6 tracks on this album, 5 instrumentals, and one song where Richard Sinclair sings a song he wrote the lyrics for, dedicated to his dog that passed away.
The band members use their talents and skills at crafting an eclectic mix of tunes into a naturally flowing and coherent musical statement. The sound is rich and crisp, the melodies jump right at you, taking a stroll in your lap and shaking you gently out of your everyday-induced apathy. The songs are playful and varied. They begin with an idea, develop it and then take a turn, evolve and progress into something a bit different but always appealing and ear catching. Their music has a contagious characteristic. Take for instance opener piece, G.B. Evidence; once it starts, it’s a non-stop action-filled composition, upbeat melody and superb execution.
The album’s highly captivating music is greatly enhanced by the stellar musicianship of the band members.
I absolutely adore Giovanni Parmegianni’s keyboards work. It is passionate, poignant and gives the music much of its power. Already on my first listen, his keyboards playing “hit me straight in the ears” (in a very good way); it is indeed a prominent part of their sound. He wrote 4 of the compositions here and it shows.
Additionally, his piano playing on Battery Park is sensational.
Marco Marzo Maracas’ guitar work is subtle and accurate; he adds on various innuendos and intricate details that require attentive listening. On occasion he shifts into heavier territories, when the music requires it, as well as playing a solo (Dark Magus). Additionally, his oud playing on the opening of Arabesque is riveting.
The interplay between the keyboards and guitar is a source for grea moments on the album, one that creates thrilling musical moments (the interplay at the end of Dark Magus, Piu Limpida e Chiara di Ogni Impressione Vissuta).
Daniele Piccinini’s bass work is clearly heard in the mix and reveals punctual playing, supporting the music and rhythm. His work in Piu Limpida e Chiara di Ogni Impressione Vissuta is invigorating.
Cristian Franchi’s drumming is a delight to listen to; he plays delicate accompanying patterns as well as he does the powerful and loud bouncy rhythms, and everything else in between. His playing is groovy and catchy; listen for example to Arabesque where he really shines.
This is an energetic and stimulating album, varied and dynamic. The musicianship is stellar and each tune is memorable and left a big impact on me from first listen. A personal contender for my 2011 top albums list, I highly recommend this wonderful album.
Official Website (you can purchase the cd and high quality downloads there)
Prog Archives band entry
Kublai (Sample) by accordodeicontrari