CD REVIEW: Antonio Piretti - A Step in Heaven, A Step in Hell
By: Cyrus Rhodes
Label: Independent Artist
Genre: Pop Rock, Light Rock
Sounds Like: Art Garfunkel, Roy Orbison, Don McLean
Weakness: Winded Songs, Vocal Delivery, Marketability
Richmond, Ontario artist Antonio Piretti just released his latest CD entitled A Step in Heaven, A Ste in Hell in 2011. Reading from his Bio: “in an attempt to express my ideas, thoughts and life experiences I started to write a book.. but I felt that writing is more strongly expressed with music and so I started with the first few songs and put together some pieces "live and unplugged" with voice and guitar.”
The CD kicks things off with “Love Is” a thought provoking intro piece that serves up impressive driving rock rhythm against heartfelt vocal delivery and impressive storyline that flows and ebbs it’s way thought to emotional fruition. Track 2 “Thanks to You” shifts gears a bit with driving Americana-folk rhythm, against impressive rhythm guitar ambience and a grand slam chorus that’s sure to make your head spin. Track 3 “People Without Fear” is a passionate ballad, with heart stopping emotional delivery, amazing rhythm, guitar and lyrical content that will make your hair stand up on end. As this CD slowly unfolds I can hear many different musical influences reminiscent of classic Roy Orbison, with just a splash of Don McLean and Art Garfunkel. The music itself is a delightful blend of Pop, Alternative Rock and Melodic Light Rock that goes down extremely smooth song for song, note for note. The most impressive thing about this CD is the grove ability of all songs and the passionate vocal delivery of Piretti himself. The vocal timber of Piretti is effective and he has an appealing timber and passion. I'll go on to add he takes some rather impressive vocal risks throughout the production indicating to me a very strong and confident vocal ability. Piretti clearly makes the critical (singer to listener) emotional connection with his vocal presence. The CD also offers a rich melodic foundation, coupled with lush layers of instrumentation. From Impressive Rhythm Guitar, Piano, lush layers of harmonies. From heartfelt “Please Stay” this uplifting “Breathe” to invigorating I Believe in You” this CD has something for just about everyone. The CD ends with Track 10: My Dreams Clash With Your Time” the perfect finale statement for a CD of this caliber.
It's fair to say Piretti’s vocal delivery is a bit off kilter and at times sounds a bit awkward. I think this is mainly due to his thick Italian accent. Over time it will take it's toll on American listeners. I recommend Piretti either improve his English or explore European/Canadian markets exclusively. As a result I can’t really understand what he’s singing about. Because of this I feel many American listeners will struggle to identify with Piretti as an artist. At times he comes on a bit too strong emotionally and really should ride down the vocal intensity a bit during some of the slower moments. There's also no barcode anywhere indicating to me a retail non-compatibility. There is no mention of Piretti anywhere - just the CD title. This is to say the least a bit unorthodox and not common for Industry standard CD's. All songs over 4 minutes tend to drag you to the finish line big time. I fully realize this is a subjective art form but some of the aforementioned issues do effect the CD’s overall marketability.
From start to finish A Step in Heaven A Step in Hell by Antonio Piretti is an impressive collection of music. From start to finish it’s very passionate, passionate and extremely melodic in nature. To say the least it's packed to the hilt with musical variety. The writing, playing, and singing abilities of Piretti and company are impressive and will be sure to lift your spirits without even trying. As the CD progressed I became more and more impressed with him as an artist. The musicianship is first rate; the songs are short and sweet musical experiences. Each one possessing a unique personality, flair, and signature groove. Lastly - the playing, writing, and singing abilities of Antonio Piretti will pluck your heart strings.