Slow Learner

(Copyright © 2006 Piero Scaruffi | Legal restrictions - Termini d'uso )

In Their Time They Are Magnificent (2006), 6.5/10

Slow Learner is the project of New York-based singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist (guitars, piano, bass, organs, accordion, melodica, harmonica and percussion) Michael Napolitano that debuted with In Their Time They Are Magnificent (2006), featuring Mike Hotter on lead guitar. Napolitano boasts a coarse baritone that could deliver torch ballads and even opera arias, but chooses to set his vocal chores in a broader context of studio collage and sound sculpting (always within the boundaries of the song format). This approach yields both cute ditties such as Martyr, a facile singalong set at a military musichall tempo, and complex, articulate pieces such as Retreasion, in which a simple piano pattern and exotic chanting conjure up a telluric arrangement. Throughout his broad stylistic range, Napolitano displays a keen sense of the evocative power of melody, whether in the melancholy accordion-driven elegy Ringing In The New Year or in the Pink Floyd-ian melodrama of East River or in the funereal hymn-like The Better The Lonely. Occasionally he can harness the power of ambience for darkly nightmarish pieces (Sleepy), but more often his moments of depression hark back to well-established traditions (the Neil Young-ish country-rock dirge Holding On To Yourself, the distorted psychedelic blues Look At Your Shoes). The live band also includes Kieran Mulvaney, Jordan Young and Ed Gorch of Knotworking. (Translation by/ Tradotto da xxx)

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(Copyright © 2006 Piero Scaruffi | Legal restrictions - Termini d'uso )
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