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Enrico Sarzi: Drive Through
Enrico Sarzi - Drive Through CD Album Review

Enrico Sarzi: Drive Through

Melodic Hard Rock/AOR

After the demise of his band Midnite Sun, vocalist Enrico Sarzi was out of job, but not out of musical ideas or a dream. That dream was to sometime cut his own solo album. Gathering his own material, Sarzi hit the studio with some of his Midnite Sun mates to record his first solo project Drive Through.

Enrico Sarzi Photo

Enrico Sarzi

If you have some (or any) recollection of Sarzi's previous band, you know his chosen genre is classic melodic hard rock in an AOR wrapper. That's the context for Sarzi's songwriting, vocals, and the songs of Drive Through. And there's some variety to be found among his songs. Sarzi strikes a heavier tone with Shameless, The Repentant, Let Me Go, and Sex Perfume. All four are marked by sharp heavy riffs, a deep bottom end and, often, a plodding, lumbering pace. With Shameless that might pass for a blues groove; with Let Me Go, the pace can quicken in parts. Nevertheless, excepting the impressive solos within each, I only found Let Me Go interesting.

With Afraid To Be Myself, Sarzi develops a lighter tone to his arrangements. Adding his acoustic guitar to his melodic rock creates a pleasing AOR temperament to the piece. The same could be said for Drive Through which begins with Sarzi's voice over piano, before rising into heavy rock later in the second half. Despite the incendiary name, Inferno is another light ballad-like song, again with Sarzi joined by acoustic guitar. The song rises slowly with his vocal presence leading until the riffs get pitched and a quick solo arrives. Similar to this is Nothing To Live For where, again, the focus is Sarzi's voice to lead the song's melody with acoustic guitar and piano making light but generous appearances. Yet, with little doubt, the best song here is Strange Freedom. Sarzi's familiar use of voice over acoustic guitar and piano begins the song, and then develops lightly and leisurely through the vocal arrangement to reach the focal point: a sweet saxophone solo from Stefano Avanzi.

Needless to say, given the volume of words, I preferred the lighter side of Sarzi, his more AOR oriented melodic rock. However, excepting Strange Freedom and Let Me Go, I found Drive Through to be simply adequate, somewhat interesting, but not all that memorable melodic hard rock. Nevertheless, as a personal dream fulfilled, Enrico Sarzi should be pleased and proud of his first solo album. Check it out. - New fiction, crime fiction by Craig Hartranft

The Bottom Line

Excepting a few songs, I found Enrico Sarzi's Drive Through to be simply adequate, somewhat interesting, but not all that memorable melodic hard rock. Nevertheless, as a personal dream fulfilled, Sarzi should be both pleased and proud of his first solo album.

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