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Area - Arbeit Macht Frei CD (album) cover




Rock Progressivo Italiano

4.26 | 586 ratings

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4 stars Arbeit Macht Frei is the debut studio album from Italian jazz rock/ avant garde rock band Area. Iīve listened to this album many times before writing my review because I felt it difficult to write about Areaīs music. Music this diverse and challenging is always hard to write about.

The music is primarely in the jazz rock vein but there are also avant garde tendencies and a bit of hard rock here and there. There are lots of solos played primarely on sax and on initial listen the music seems a bit unstructured and jam like except for the first song Luglio, Agosto, Settembre (Nero) which is very different from the rest. If you want to know what Area sounds like you should skip to song number 2 and thatīs not because Luglio, Agosto, Settembre (Nero) is a bad song. On the contrary itīs one of my favorites here but itīs very different from the rest. There are some great Italian vocals and an electric violin in that song which is so masterful. That song is more in the RIO/ Avant garde vein than jazz rock. The rest of the songs are more or less jazz rock. Mainly instrumental but with vocal sections here and there. Great Italian vocals. Of course I donīt understand a word but the way Demetrio Statos sings is great.

As I mentioned above I first found the music a bit unstructured but after listening to Arbeit Macht Frei several times everything falls into place and I have found that this music is indeed very tightly structured. This is something which is alfa omega for my listening pleasure. It feels like Iīve solved the puzzle and itīs a great experience. What beautiful and challenging music.

The musicianship is astonishing and Iīm left speechless every time I finish listening to this rather short album ( 36:24 minutes). There are so many great moments on the album. The rythm section,the guitar, the vocals, the organ, the sax, the violin. It is one of those divine interplays between musicians you so seldom hear.

The production is excellent. Warm and cleverly done.

Arbeit Macht Frei has been an eye opening experience for me. My persistence has payed off and Arbeit Macht Frei is near a masterpiece in my ears. Iīll rate it 4 big stars and recommend it to anyone who like me is a bit intimidated by jazz rock. This is a great place to start as there is plenty of rock on this album as well as jazz. I might upgrade this to 5 stars sometime in the future thatīs how good I think it is. I just need to see if it stands the test of time.

UMUR | 4/5 |


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