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Sophya Baccini

Rock Progressivo Italiano

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Sophya Baccini Aradža album cover
3.62 | 18 ratings | 5 reviews | 11% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 2009

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. La Pietra (9:41 )
2. How Good (2:38)
3. Studiare-Studiare (4:26)
4. Will Love Drive Out the Rain (5:22)
5. Adesso (2:04)
6. Al Ritmo Di Una Storia (3:47)
7. Beware-Beware (5:09)
8. Ever Too Small (2:36)
9. Don't Dream That Dream (4:22)
10. Non E' l'Amore il Tuo Destino (3:34)
11. L'Ennesimo No (2:09)
12. Elide (5:50)
13. Aradia (3:47)
14. Two Witches & Doreen (4:11)
15. Nei Luoghi (3:58)
16. When the Eagles Flied (3:38)
17. Circle Game (2:1)
18. When the Eagles Flied (Bonus Video)

Total Time 69:25

Line-up / Musicians

- Sophya Baccini / vocals; piano, synthesizer, clavinet, mellotron
- Pino Falgani / percussion; Moog, Hammond
- Vittorio Cataldi / accordion, violin
- Franco Ponzo / guitar
- Stefano Vicarelli / modular Moog (1, 12)
- Aurelio Fierro Jr. / drums (6, 12)
- Martin Grice / flute (9), sax (15)
- Nona Luna / vocals (14)
- Ana Torres / vocals (14)
- Lino Vairetti / vocals (10)

Releases information

CD Black Widow Records, 2009, with Bonus Video

Thanks to Todd for the addition
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SOPHYA BACCINI Aradža ratings distribution

(18 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(11%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(44%)
Good, but non-essential (39%)
Collectors/fans only (6%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

SOPHYA BACCINI Aradža reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by andrea
3 stars Sophya Baccini is an Italian artist from Naples. After many albums as a singer of a band called Presence, in 2009 she released her first solo album, "Aradia", for Black Widow Records. The album was recorded with the help of some collaborators like Vittorio Cataldi (violin, accordion), Franco Ponzo (guitars) and Pino Falgiano (keyboards). Some guest musicians contributed to enrich the sound like, among others, Martin Grice (Delirium), Lino Vairetti (Osanna) and Stefano Vicarelli (Fonderia). Sophya Baccini composed the music, wrote the lyrics, played piano and synthesizers and sung...

This work features a long suite in 13 parts, three other tracks and a Joni Mithcell's cover, "Circle game". The suite is a kind of musical and spiritual path describing the friendship between two women, Aradia and Elide, and its importance for the way of life and the full self realisation of the protagonist Aradia. Lyrics are hermetic to say the least, in part written in Italian, in part in English and in part in French... This doesn't help to comprehend the "concept" and there are no liner notes to explain it on the booklet. The music is extremely heterogeneous with influences ranging from jazz to classical, from Piazzolla to Jethro Tull, but the thread that keeps the single parts of the suite together is very thin and the blending is not completely convincing. Some passages are absolutely brilliant, like the charming overture "La pietra", the unquiet and dreamy "Dont' Dream That Dream" or the melodic and sumptuous "Elide". Other parts in my opinion are less satisfactory like "Ever Too Small" that seems coming out from an album of Diana Krall or the melodramatic duet with Lino Vairetti "Non Ť l'amore il tuo destino".

This album contains many good moments, but in my opinion it's like if some parts were put in the wrong place... The voice of Sophya is beautiful, powerful and melodic, but listeners have to jump from one thing to another and, at length, even the outstanding tracks are in some way diluted by the excess of different musical ideas and risk to lose their charm.

On the whole I consider "Aradia" a good album, but not an essential one in a prog collection. I'm sure that such a sensitive and gifted artist can do better...

Review by Raff
4 stars According to Neo-Pagan belief, Aradia was the daughter of the goddess Artemis. However, in spite of the occasional supernatural and mythological references (not surprising in a Black Widow release), Sophya Baccini's solo debut is a concept album mainly based on a tale of friendship between women - to use the artist's own words, the story of a woman who finds herself thanks to another woman's help and support. The album is clearly a labour of love, a project very close to the artist's heart whose making lasted over three years.

The album is built around a 50-minute suite divided into 13 parts, which relates Aradia's tale in emotional, often visionary terms. Even if both Sophya's vocal style (somewhat reminiscent of Annie Haslam) and the overall musical atmosphere may be an acquired taste, the whole composition shares the sophisticated, gothic-tinged vein of Kate Bush or Tori Amos, though liberally flavoured with the uniquely Mediterranean flair for romance and lyricism. A strong symphonic component holds the various tracks together - the violin is a steady presence throughout the album, while other, more exotic instruments such as the bouzouki or the accordion add a folksy note to the proceedings.

Opener "La Pietra" immediately sets the mood for the entire disc, with Baccini reciting the opening lines of Aradia's story over a lush orchestral background. The 9-minute-plus track, the longest on the album, and a mini-suite in itself, alternates sedate, atmospheric moments with more dramatic ones, dominated by Sophya's soaring vocals, and tempered by her gently lilting piano and some beautifully melodic guitar work. The following songs are all markedly shorter, some of them conceived like interludes connecting the more substantial pieces of the story. Though Sophya's vocals are understandably the stars of the show, the other instruments contribute to the building of a rich, enthralling atmosphere. Some of the many highlights of the suite deserve a special mention: in "Studiare, Studiare", the lilting sound of the clavinet can be heard on a lush tapestry of strings and mellotron; while the melancholy strains of the accordion enhance the romantic, tango-like melody and passionate ending of "Will Love Drive Out the Rain?". "Non E' L'Amore Il Tuo Destino" sees Sophya's ethereal voice contrasted with Osanna singer Lino Vairetti's expressive, powerful tones over a sparse background of piano and flute.

If I had to level one particular criticism at the album, it would regard the lyrical rather than the musical aspect. In fact, even though Sophya's efforts in writing her songs not ony in Italian, but also in English and French, are indeed to be appreciated, mistakes such as the one in the title of the song "When the Eagles Flied" could detract from her credibility on the international scene. "Aradia" would also have benefited from a shorter running time - the last four tracks, appended to the disc as a sort of afterthought, could have been omitted without doing any real damage to the final product, especially since the album is almost 70 minutes long.

A finely-crafted, deeply personal album, "Aradia" will undoubtedly appeal to fans of female voices, especially those who do not mind a touch of operatic grandiosity with their music. On the whole, a very promising solo debut from one of the best female vocalists on the current prog scene, and a worthwhile addition to the ever-growing roster of interesting new Italian bands and artists.

Review by avestin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Sophya Baccini is a piano and keyboards player and vocalist and Aradia is her first album. She has been working as a session musician and is also the lead vocalist for Presence. She has worked as a solo musician before as well as guest musician on albums by Delirium and Osanna. Aradia has been released in 2009 through Black Widow Records in Italy in a digipack format with a booklet containing all the lyrics (sung in Italian, English and French) and the lineup.

I think this album could be a hit, had the circumstances been different. While it can be challenging music at times and demanding a longer-than-usual attention span, it is a gorgeous and ambitious piece of emotional and melodic melancholic songs. Sophya's voice is beautiful and quite wide in range (from mid to high pitch). Her musical skills are of the same quality, if not higher.

There are 17 songs on here (the last song on the album is Circle Game by Joni Mitchell) but they are interconnected and feel as one flowing stream of music with various parts sung in Italian, English and French. Her articulation in French and English are good and clear, but for those sensitive to an accent in English and French singing, know that there is one here. The music itself is quite varied, from full and rich sounding pieces (La Pietra, Aradia, Al Ritmo Di Una Storia, Elide) to more intimate setting (How Good, Beware Beware, Ever Too Small, L'ennesimo No), from jazzy, folk and tango-influenced pieces (Will Love Drive Out The Rain, Nei Loughi) to rock (Al Ritmo Di Una Storia, Don't Dream That Dream, Elide, When The Eagles Flied) to classical-oriented ones (Aradia), from some use of electronic effects (Adesso, Studiare Studiare, Don't Dream That DreamTwo Witches and Doreen) to orchestral arrangements (Ever Too Small, Aradia). With not much in terms of percussion and drumming on the album (present in a few songs), the music is not at all boring, it can even be rhythmic and even propulsive at times. But there is indeed an abstract and atmospheric feel is predominant in the album, but don't mistake that for lack of melody or direction; this atmospheric air is contrasted (or augmented) by beautiful songs that are more structured but use that basic charm and enhance it (such as Elide). Sophya manages to convey in her own way much emotion and beauty. She does have a theatrical way of presentation in some of the songs here, especially in the more intimate songs, where it feels as if she's singing right in front of me in some shady small venue on a dimly lit little stage. Her voice is dominant and serves fittingly the songs where she reaches the higher notes as well as the songs where her voice is mostly in mid-range where it holds a powerful form; indeed, she would be a great rock singer if she decided to go that way. Some of the songs have an eerie and odd feel, while others have a more "standard" approach that is naturally easier to relate to, but not necessarily more attractive. I find the way she has constructed the album to sound as one continuous piece with various sections to be well done. It is a ~70 minute album but it passes quite quickly for me as I enjoy it so much, particularly due to its beauty, variety and sense of continuity.

To listen to Aradia for me, is to be taken to foreign landscapes, to be transported on the graceful wings of Sophya's voice and the charm of her music. I find the best way for me to experience this album is in a mostly dark room late at night with headphones. The magic really comes forth in that setting.

Latest members reviews

3 stars Sophya Baccini has had a long music career and hopefully a great future too. But this is her debut solo album, strangely enough. It took some decades for her to record and release her solo album. It is obvious from this album that she has garnered a lot of experiences and not at least; insp ... (read more)

Report this review (#393947) | Posted by toroddfuglesteg | Friday, February 4, 2011 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Sophya Baccini is the singer of Presence (6 studio albums and a live album) and she was a guest on the last albums of two of the main Italian Progressive bands (Osanna and Delirium). Aradia is the first solo album of Sophya. Here she not only provides lead vocals but also performs on piano, synt ... (read more)

Report this review (#243421) | Posted by Godzilla | Wednesday, October 7, 2009 | Review Permanlink

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