CD REVIEW: The Venetian - I Wanna tell you a Story (2011)
By: Cyrus Rhodes
"brilliant - creative - entertaining - amazing"
- INDIE MUSIC DIGEST -
Artist: The Venetian
Album: I Wanna' Tell you a Story
Label: Independent Artist
Genre: Rock, Opera, Alternative Rock
Sounds Like: Queen, Muse, Alice Cooper
Technical Grade: 10/10
Los Angeles 3 piece “The Venetian” releases their latest CD entitled I Wanna Tell you a Story in 2011. The Venetian is an interesting act that combines rock opera with theatrical performance elements. The band is headed up by The Venetian (vocals, Guitar, Piano) who originally hails from Italy. The Press Pack describes The Venitian as “a mix between fear and love, rock and opera, real and unreal, Italy and America.” Other members include Luca Spanio (Bass), Kevin Witucky (Drums and Timpani).
The CD kicks things off with “Act 1” a passionate slow flowing intro piece that serves up well placed strings, apocalyptic piano groove and heart felt vocals. This piece leads you directly into Track 2 “Goodbye” a steady rock ditty served against infectious vocal vibe and hypnotic harmonies from The Venetian and company. Track 3 “Act II’ and Track 4 ”The Black Cat” shifts gears a bit with methodical piano intro eventually leading you into a grooving melody with mesmerizing guitar rhythms, hypnotic vocal layering and well placed string accents. This coupled with mesmerizing lyrical content makes for a very entertaining musical statement. Track 4 “Act III” and Track 5 "My Good Friend” serves up infectious rock ditty that flows and ebbs its way through to emotional fruition. As the CD slowly unfolds I can hear many different musical soundscapes reminiscent of such classic psychedelic rock acts like Queen. Alice Cooper and Muse. Right from the start you will notice rich musical textures overflowing everywhere, full of passion, variety and a strong melodic structure. The songs themselves are amazing and captivating packed to the hilt with passionate lyrical content and compelling subject matter that is set to a theatrical setting. The music itself is an impressive blend of classic rock, alternative rock with just a dash of opera and other aspect of a live theatric performance. Along the way besides the typical 3 piece standard rock delivery I didn’t fail to notice well placed percussive accents, piano, keyboards, strings, solo guitar, impressive solo guitar and well placed harmonies, The Venetian makes a real attempt to entertain the listener with much in the way of passion and musical drama. His voice works well within the confines of this dramatic catalogue I might add he takes some impressive vocal risks throughout the CD as well. No doubt The Venetian can hold his own vocally as I didn’t fail to notice a few well-placed harmonies, falsettos and impressive vibrato. What I like most about the music is how well The Venetian makes it his own - not being afraid to let it all hang out with his vocal charisma and passion within each piece. Song for song the CD as a whole combines high entertainment value with strong songwriting and top flight originality. Song for song you can never really predict what’s waiting for you around the next corner. From grooving “Sometimes” to rocking “Dancing Angel” to amazing “My Sweet Italian Pie” this CD has something for just about everyone. The CD ends with Track 15 “Overture” the perfect finale statement for a CD of this caliber.
It’s fair to say the think Italian accent of The Venetain sticks out like a sore thumb when compared to other European singers But ironically it works and you eventually come to a place where you just roll with it. I suspect some listeners out there especially within the US will struggle to identify with it. It’s fair to say the CD sounds a bit dated possessing music that was immensely popular 25 years ago. I fully realize this is a subjective art form but many of the aforementioned issues do affect the CD’s overall marketability. However – due to the Rock Opera format I have to give much of the above a hall pass.
I Wanna Tell you a Story by The Venetian is a brilliant, creative, entertaining and amazing collection of music from start to finish. In fact it’s one of the best CD’s to slide across my desk this year. It’s strong suit – the amazing creative genius that is none other than the The Venetian. He possesses enough musical talent and songwriting prowess to be extremely dangerous. Couple this with an amazing live performance and you have a very deadly combination indeed. The music is highly entertaining, highly original and full of amazing peaks and valleys. The story is passionate, dramatic, and at time explosive and unpredictable. - all from the artist’s brilliant perspective no doubt. I really admire artists out there who are themselves and just let the chips fall where they may. Praise goes out to the artist that can show us something real and genuine beneath their veil of vanity. The Venetian is one of those artists.