CD REVIEW: Giorgio - Party of the Century
By Cyrus Rhodes - 12/27/2010 - 09:28 PM EST
Album: Party of the Century
Label: Lettera “A” Records
Genre: Acoustic Rock, Singer-Songwriter
Sounds Like: Gino Vanelli, Toto, Air Supply
Technical Grade: 10/10
Production/Musicianship Grade: 10/10
Commercial Value: 7/10
Overall Talent Level: 10/10
Songwriting Skills: 9/10
Performance Skill: 9/10
Best Songs: Black Coffee & a Friend, Nenna’s Last Symphony, Friends
Weakness: Marketability, Dated Sounding Production
Giorgio Onorato Aquilani releases a CD entitled Party of the Century in 2010. P.O.T.C is a colossal music project of epic proportions with world class musicians & artists that took 2 years to complete. Where do I start? For starters - Bobby Kimball, David Paich, Simon Phillips, & Greg Phillinganes (TOTO) Legendary drummers Steve Gadd, Peter Erskine & Jonathan Mover. Others include legendary bassists Ron Carter (Miles Davis) Leeland Sklar (Phil Collins), John Mahon (Elton John) guitarist Tommy Emmanuael just to name a few. So do I have your full undivided attention yet? Let the party begin.
The CD takes to flight with melodic intro piece “Poem to Life” an upbeat duet with John Mahon that serves up driving rock rhythm, well placed grooves, dynamic musical flow & hooky melody that peaks & valleys its way through to emotional fruition. Track 2 “Black Coffee and a Friend” shifts gears a bit with its slamming rock groove meshed with well-placed vocal melodies & full tilt vocal passion from Giorgio & company. This piece is quite impressive demonstrating impressive vocal delivery with finale ending. Track 3 shifts gears back down another notch with “One Emotional Moment” an easy flowing vocal vibe with soothing pop rock persona, passionate melodies & impressive lyrical content. I would classify this music as Poppish Rock with a classic late 70’s early eithies flair. As this CD slowly unfolds I can hear many different musical soundscapes reminiscent of such classic acts such as Gino Vanelli, Air Supply, Toto, with brief splashes of Barry Manilow & Elton John. The CD offers a rich melodic vocal foundation, & as to be expected world class muscianship to boot. Along the way you will notice lush instrumentation with things like well palced vocal harmonies, impressive piano accents, amazing rhythm section, strings, world class guitar licks, Cello, & well placed keyboard & percussive accents along the way. Now turning our attention squarely on Giorgio, he not only wrote all this music but can clearly hold his own vocally as well. He clearly let's it all hang out indicating to me a strong & confident vocal ability. What’s even more impressive is how well his vocal abilities work regardless of what genera he’s in. He seems to cross many musical boundaries successfully. Whether it be R&B, Rock, Funk, even Jazz, Giogio seems comfortable within each one. From passionate “Write Me” & “Love After Love” to heartfelt “I’ve Seen You” to grooving “2 Hearts in a Tattoo” to rocking Nenna’s Last Symphony” & upbeat "‘At My Door” this CD pretty much has something for just about everyone. I especially enjoyed the orchestral feel of Venice Night” which made me feel like was actually there. The CD ends with “Friends” the perfect finale statement for a catalogue like this.
It’s had to find solid weakness with this CD but I would offer up a few minor things. First off -it’s fair to say Giorgio’s Italian accents is thick as a brick & over time can take a toll on American listeners. The production is very 1978 sounding. Unfortunately the year is 2011 & the bar is set rather high for artists like Giorgio with respect to their overall writing & singing virtuoso. Despite this productions bone crushing musical line up, & amazing writting & production contributions, at the end of th day this CD just sounds a bit dated. If the production was more modern sounding with respect to some of the songwriting, singing, mixing it would clearly be a 10 on a 10 scale. I am well aware that this is a subjective art for but some of the above does affect the productions marketability.
Party of the Century by Georgio is an amazing musical production & clearly stands out from other productions I have heard in 2010. I especially enjoyed the party pack complete with Carrying Case, Bonus DVD, Production Booklet & Cheeky Party Pin. The songwriting is impressive, & passionate packed to the hilt with priceless conventional wisdom. All in all this CD provides a lot of musical variety. Honorable mentions go out to lyricist Ivan Nossa for his amazing contribution & all the players & preformers & production people. Song for song, note for note - I can honestly say I was entertained the entire time, with never a dull moment to be found. Its strong suit – the amazing arsenal of players & performers Giorgio brings to the table (See Paragraph 1). It was an absolute joy to hear all these world class music professionals collaborate on this amazing catalogue. If you want musical variety, brilliant songwriting, world class musicianship, & lyrical content & vocals that full of life, love & the pursuit of happiness then you should consider yourself invited to Giorgio’s Party of the Century. This is one musical bash you won’t want to miss.
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