Power Prog Records
Words: Craig Hartranft
Moonbound is the project of vocalist, multi-instrumentalist and producer Fabio Trentini. Though unknown to me, he's widely known for these skills in Europe and for his work with Subway To Sally, H-Blockx, Guano Apes, Sasha, Le Orme, Milan Polak, et al. Uncomfortable News From The Moon represents his third album, helped in the studio by Markus Reuter (Stick Men) and Pat Mastelotto (King Crimson, Mr. Mister) with the assistance of various guests including Tony Levin (Peter Gabriel, King Crimson), Steve Farris and Steve George (both of Mr. Mister), to mention a few.
Without attempting to pigeon-hole Trentini, those notes to the aforementioned Mr. Mister, and Eighties popular and so-called new wave music in general, give me some reference point. His largely lighter melodic, progressive, even popish, rock reminds me of the period, but also envelopes sounds like Yes, Genesis, and maybe even some earlier Ambrosia, without the symphonic embellishment. If any instrument stands out it's the guitar and it's clean lines and leads amidst some brisk and crisp riffs. After this, Trentini adds some piano and synths, yet never over ambitious like gross embellishment. No, the move with both accent and rhythm complimenting both guitar and rhythm section.
Even with all this, none of these are the key element to the Moonbound sound. It's Trentini himself. He has this distinct melodic and harmonious voice that envelopes everything and lifts them higher. His presence is both commanding, in an assuring and benign sense, and delightful. Simply, he's easy to listen to sweetening your ears as honey sweetens tea. His vocals embrace and carry the melody of every song putting this music into an ethereal atmosphere. Notable examples are found within As Long As The Dream Is Real, Almighty Game, The Real Loneliness, and the magnificent The Sacred Flame, just hitting my favorites.
As for that prog angle, there's nothing about this music that's grossly technical, nothing that intends to mesmerize or confound for that purpose alone. Actually, probably the most prog song here, and the one that depends the least on Trentini's vocals, is Cheetah Conquers The Moon, an oddly quirky number with emphatic drums. It reminds me of that middle period of Genesis where Collins and company effortlessly blend prog with pop sensibility.
All in all, Fabio Trentini and Moonbound's Uncomfortable News From The Moon is a dynamic and entertaining listening experience. A delightful foray into popular melodic progressive rock with Trentini's smooth melodic vocals leading the way. Easily recommended.
Fabio Trentini and Moonbound's Uncomfortable News From The Moon is a dynamic and entertaining listening experience. A delightful foray into popular melodic progressive rock with Trentini's smooth melodic vocals leading the way. Easily recommended.
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