The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world

The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world

MARIO PERCUDANI

NEW DAY

 

Many of you out there will probably already be aware of Italy’s Hungryheart and their accomplished take on melodic rock (if not check out our Best of 2010 where their latest album Road to Paradise rated highly), but fewer of you out there may know that Mario Percudani their guitarist and main song writer now has two solo albums under his belt.

 

Mario sang on Hungryheart’s latest on a few songs and solo he takes on both guitar and vocal duties. Just don’t expect to hear another Hungryheart here though! Mario’s solo work could be best described at light easy-listening AOR. The music itself has a raft of influences ranging from rock to jazz and New Day is a nice relaxing listen, full of beautifully constructed ballads.

 

If we were to make comparisons then think of an artist like Michael Bolton with a more contemporary and less-structured song-base. The songs themselves wash over you like a gentle breeze. Soulful lyrics and beautiful acoustic guitar and voice underscore some finely crafted melodies. Opening track “In My Old Shoes” sets the languid pace with its gentle beat, sparse percussion and female backing vocals pushing it along.

 

“Don’t Bother Me” has more soul to it, and title track “New Day’ draws the listener in. But it’s songs like “You Can Run” that have an extra indefinable quality that makes it a stand-out, the solo flows and fits, perfectly complimenting the lyrics. It’s hard to deny the quality of song construction here. Towards the end of the album we feel a little more of the jazz influence creeping in: the languid “Standing in the Pouring Rain” sounds as good as anything Mr. Bolton has been guilty of producing.

 

Finest on the album for me is the sparse and country blues flavoured “I’ll Be There For You” and it’s this subtle variety that if anything the album lacks as a whole. That is a double-edged sword really because if you like the opening track you will like the album as a whole. But if you like more than just the brown M&M’s you’ll be searching. Maybe it’s a case of playing just a little too safe? Saying that, the cover of “God Bless the Child” which ups the jazz quotient is just a little too much for my taste, but is again beautifully executed.

 

Listening to an album as a whole you feel like you’ve been resting by a gentle slow-flowing stream, the album just seems to make you smile, if it lacks anything it’s perhaps in the succinctness of the
songs where you feel a solo or extended break might possibly add to the mix. The album is also quite one-paced which in context works, but to a casual listener might not offer enough bite or variety. It’s interesting to see a different side to a song-writer you enjoy and in this very different context Mario shows that he loves making music. He also has a blues-based project that I’m keen to hear.

 

This might be a bit mellow for some of you out there, but if you like to walk on the ‘light-side’ you might find this a refreshing change. Though this isn’t my normal cup of tea I found it hard to dislike this one.

 

Mark Diggins