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MP3 Frank Romanelli - Century

Acoustic folk rock from this artist''s soul to yours.

8 MP3 Songs
ROCK: Acoustic, ROCK: Folk Rock


I knew Frank to be a singer-songwriter-guitarist of considerable talent. However, being a rock disciple in the Beatles-Stones-ACDC-Ramones vein, my preconception of this CD was that of a mellow, James Taylor-type affair that I would admire but not really get into. Well, it stayed in my car CD player for 2 weeks and became a daily listening habit. And, yes, I did get into it quite a bit.

The disc kicks off with "Heaven Sits Above Me", a strong contender for best cut. All great songs are open to multiple interpretations, but I saw this song as an optimistic belief that no matter where we go through life''s journey, heaven-the optimum destination- is always waiting for us. My revived spirituality was in line with this one. Musically, Jay White''s drums drive this number, as the drum track is impeccably recorded. Archie Calise''s lead guitar threads through the whole song with 2 notes that remind me of Neil Young''s ringing tones throughout the 1967 classic "For What It''s Worth" by Buffalo Springfield. Calise''s solo cuts through with authority and just the right amount of sustain and raunch.

"Look Into My Eyes" has Frank being pushed along by Jeff Hubbard''s "behind the beat" Caribbean-style bass line as he sings of reunion, rediscovery and revival.

Losing, leaving and re-gaining are the themes for the song "Three Way Street," which is greatly enhanced by the harmonies of Hubbard and Calise, who perfectly complement Romanelli''s James Taylor-like reading.

The CD''s standout piece is Romanelli''s "Two Hearts" (with "Heaven Sits Above Me" a quarter-notch below). The song tells of how the human condition sometimes forces us to play different parts in order to survive, all the while seeking our one true self (again, my interpretation). As in "Heaven", Jay White''s drums grab and hold from beginning to end. Distorted octaves from Gary Faria''s double-tracked electric guitar serve as the driving riff of this song. This one really hits below the belt and there should be more of these on future recordings.

Another characteristic of this song and others by Romanelli that I like is the spacing between the lyrics. A line is sung, there''s a pause to digest it, and then on to the next. The practical advantage to this is the time for the singer to breathe, or the producer to "punch in" re-takes. The listener benefits by having the time to comprehend what the singer is selling.

Frank Romanelli''s sound could be described as "Neil Young with polish". If making it big in the music business had more to do with talent and less with promotion and luck, "Heaven Sits Above Me" and "Two Hearts" would be platinum singles. The best may still be yet to come for Mr. Romanelli.

"Uncle Retro"

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