CD Review

Chirleison – “A Whisper”

By Ray Van Horn, Jr.

A WhisperAn appropriate title for this disc, Chirleison’s A Whisper, falls somewhere between soothingly sedate and occasionally narcoleptic. This European trio tinkers with language and music, mostly to demure effect. While a few things boff these by and large dignified compositions, Chirleison, in the end, creates an intriguing acoustic-driven exploration of traditional themes.

The tranquil guitars of Daniele Serra, the neoclassical keys of Mara Lasi and the floating vocals of Alessia Cicala create an ideal atmosphere of peace that is sometimes undone by flotsam sequencing, which is a bummer, particularly on the opening number Medea. The integrity of the song is lost quite a bit by the hackneyed drum machine and the proof of its amateurishness is confirmed on the subsequent title track, sans the cheap beats, and lo it works fabulously!

The acoustic strumming on Canzone Per Anceo should’ve been enough to sustain this track, yet the interceding key crashes and sometimes inebriated bass produced by the keyboards threaten to unravel the attractive melody of the track. The suitably somber tone of Rosary, however, is one of Chirleison’s strongest moments. Its keyboards produce a reflective nuance, despite the solemn quietude that strains the ears to partake them. Obviously part of Chirleison’s art. Then there’s the Renaissance-spirited I Doni, another of the disc’s highlights in which Daniele Serra’s guitar flows beautifully.

Alessia Cicala’s dreamy vocals may not strike perfection, but they serve Chirleison’s purposes nicely. As she is called upon to sing in English, Italian and French the mere fact she pulls them all off so effortlessly is utterly commendable. Frankly, to be serenaded by her in French is as an appealing prospect as would be by Paris Combo’s Belle du Berry. Meow…

While Chirleison is adequately grouped by themselves, the logical extension of their art will be to blend extra players into their soft and mostly luxuriant compositions. Otherwise, their noticeable deficiencies will hinder them from elevating their obvious talent.

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