Hector Gomez reviewed our album and pointed out some problems, especially for production…
Well, we did the best we could, but we try to improve our sound to avoid the “slightly amateurish personality”!
What’s more. I’m thinking about the difficulties of some reviewers to follow the concept of Morpho Nestira and the feeling of annoyance that the spoken inserts cause them… I tried to analize modern times materialism from different points of view and the inserts are there to make the images more powerful… but maybe I failed!
Anyway, thank you Hector for the time you’ve dedicated to our music and for your quite positive review… but sadly we all know well that “quite good” is not enough nowadays!
The music business, and those corporations around it, is suffering a slow and painful death. As catastrophic as this may sound to some, the truth is, sales have been dwindling exponentially around the world in the last 5-6 years, and the only “artists” with guaranteed distribution and public exposure are those (don’t need to mention them… just fill the gap with your own personal “blacklisted”) who belong to the big Machine.
In If’s own words, “our weaknesses feed the Machine”, and they couldn’t be more right, as this Italian band, along a few thousand more in the musical scene, is another victim of this big, unforgiving device. They have self-produced, and self-released, their latest release, Morpho Nestira (name for a particularly beautiful species of butterfly), apparently a concept album about “human rendition to materialism”. Probably, they chose to do things their own way by not compromising their “art” with a contract, but I’d rather think there wasn’t any contract in sight (correct me if I’m wrong), because there’s not much room left for small independent bands outside mainstream channels.
Sadly, this affects the overall result of the album, as production values are poor by professional standards and, as a result, the sound is thin and lacks depth; anyway, I guess the budget was tight, so guitarist Dario Lastella deserves credit for his good job on the controls. My other main grip with this album is Paolo De Santis’ work on vocals. Having a nice tone, as he does, sometimes his voice sounds strained as he tries to project a more powerful performance; besides, his English diction could certainly be much better. Why doesn’t he sing in Italian?
Performance and composition-wise, Morpho Nestira sounds reasonably pleasant, with a special mention to Claudio Lapenna’s classy keyboards, and Franco Bussoli’s subdued bass lines. If’s music will remind you of Pink Floyd, especially their mid-period, their most successful, between the releases of Dark Side Of The Moon and The Wall, and this means elegant music and thought-provoking lyrics. Roger Waters’ influence on the overall concept of the album, and more prominently in some specific songs, like Naked (which could have been on The Wall), is evident, but there’s room for more. Thirsty is another Floyd tinged track, but Yul Fecé’s saxophone provides a certain Supertramp flavour. The other main reference, at least to my ears, is Swedish band Ritual. This is not to say they’re a strongly influential band, but vocals often sound very similar to Patrik Lundström’s. This is evident in the more energetic songs, such as You Need, Background Noise or closing track Oceans Of Time, which also show a slight alternative, harder edged character.
Elsewhere, there’s a couple of nice instrumentals, the Latin perfumed Morpho Nestira Part 1, and the more reflective and keyboard-oriented Morpho Nestira Part 2, as well as loads of sound effects and voices, perhaps to give the CD more depth and a cohesive, conceptual feel, but I’m not sure it works. In particular, spoken word fragments (in Italian, English, and Spanish) don’t add too much and may be a distraction for some listeners.
In closing, this is an acceptable piece of music, marred by its slightly “amateurish” personality, which shows interesting ideas and loads of enthusiasm.
If only they had the time, and the means…