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Band: Sophya Baccini

CD Title: ďAradiaĒ

Band Website: www.sophyabaccini.com

Label: Black Widow Records

Label Website: www.blackwidow.it

Release Date: 2009

 

This record was a real treat particularly because it managed to infuse some new; relatively little used musical influences into a grand symphonic pallet. Sophya Bacciniís background includes providing her talents on over a half-dozen studio albums for others as well as providing vocals for the band Presence, but Aradia is her first truly solo CD. Here she not only provides lead vocals but also performs on piano, synths and Mellotron. In addition she composed and arranged all the tracks, which in itself is quite an accomplishment. To her credit sheís also collected a host of talented performers to help create the music she heard in her head; people like Martin Grice (Delirium), Stefano Vicarelli (Fonderia), Lino Vairetti (Osanna), Ana Torres (U.T.O.), Nona Luna (Iconae) and Aurelio Fierro Jr. Itís a pretty talented cast but then Baccini is a pretty talented artist in her own right.

 

The music here reminded me ofClive Nolanís Caamora with elements of Kate Bush popping in now and again. Aradia is a series of 13 tracks more-or-less linked together to present a story and there is an overriding feel of a stage-musical happening before your ears. We hear multiple voices sometimes in English, sometimes in Italian, many solo instruments such as flute, piano, violin, guitar, synthesizer and of course Mellotron. But itís all incorporated to serve the story. The elements that really bring out the stage-musical side for me were the many places where the vocals are delivered in a call-and-response fashion, much like the dialog of a play. Some of the tracks are drum-less, others are guitar-less, nothing seems to be used just for the sake of making a progressive rock record. Rather itís all about conveying the feeling of the composition. There are even some sound-effects sprinkled in amongst the tracks to help convey the storyline. At times the music is grand and symphonic, other times itís somber and melancholy. Then there are moments that convey a haunting solitary quality then just around the corner the next song-segment portrays a breezy street-cafť feel. The song lengths are all over the map, the longest being the opener at 9:41 and the shortest 2:04 and then everything in between. Prevalent throughout the disc is an over-riding sense of melody with loads of catchy hum-able parts sprinkled throughout the disc. As in so much of progressive rock these songs donít always follow the standard song-construction. Sometimes a chorus will only be heard once but may show up in another song in a slightly different manner. It makes the disc that much more involving.

 

Aradia is quite an accomplishment and Sophya Baccini is certainly a talent to be reckoned with, not just for her wonderful vocal style but also for her musical and compositional talents. Fans of Italian inspired symphonic prog will want to ad this disc to their collection right-away. This is a wonderful release!

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