CD Review

Vittorio Vandelli - “A Day of Warm Rain in Heaven”

By Ray Van Horn, Jr.

A Day of Warm Rain in HeavenQuite a prospect that title enjoinders, doesn’t it? Surreal and tantalizing. Could heaven be so pleasurable? The prophets say so, and if a musical conception of heaven is indicated here on earth, I certainly want to hear it now before I die. Perhaps Paganini got it right with his Canon, or maybe Enigma discovered the key with its Gregorian chant-laced electronic compositions. I’m getting off-track here, but this is what comes to mind when approaching Vittorio Vandelli’s A Day of Warm Rain in Heaven.

The neoclassicism spread through Vandelli’s album helps keep his straying experimentalism honest. As a member of the Italian neoclassical troupe Ataraxia, Vandelli’s solo work here is less conventional but no less interesting. By implementing waves of Goth and electronic, his classically-influenced guitar work takes many journeys on the sometimes weird paths laid before him and mostly they work agreeably.

Recruiting his Ataraxia mate Francesca Nicoli on vocals, A Day of Warm Rain in Heaven is perhaps a darker trip than what appears on paper. My Heart As Dry As Dust is a bit painful, which is meant as a compliment; Vandelli’s tormented vocals are later draped by Nicoli’s richer timbres, both of which are drenched by the melancholic acoustic melody, and offset by a sprinkling electronic sub-melody. As vibrant as Nicoli sounds on The Ocean Green, the despondent melody here is both soothing and unsettling. Somehow I thought of a church soloist not-so-submissively pushing through an accusatory hymn.

While these comments may sound negative, they are not intended to be. Vandelli’s acoustics are splendid and is his risky spirit, as on A Sadder and a Wiser Man, where he creates a trance-like ambience for Nicoli to recite spoken word to, or the positively gorgeous title track, which is more reliant on electronics and electric guitar, but done so brilliantly. A Day of Warm Rain in Heaven is perhaps too glum overall to be considered a musical conception of heaven, but it certainly has a cascading feeling as indicated by its title.

Contact Information:
Equilibrium Music
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