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(49:44, Fading Records)
TRACK LIST: 1. One More Day 7:03 2. Different Views 5:42 3. Late 4:20 4. Mourning 5:28 5. Overloading 7:08 6. Staying Up Late 8:24 7. Girl Next Door 5:01 8. End of the Show 5:58 LINEUP: Ray Livnat - vocals Ayala Fossfeld - vocals Erez Aviram - piano, keyboards Guy Bernfeld - bass Yogev Gabay - drums with: Yoel Genin - guitars
Prolusion. Israeli band ANAKDOTA was formed in 2013, consisting of members that all have a musical education they bring into the band and the music created and explored. "Overloading" is their debut album, and was released by Italian label Altrock Productions through their imprint Fading Records in 2016.
Analysis. Anakdota is one of those bands that, I guess, have been placed inside a progressive rock aspect as the most viable of a number of genre choices not really fitting the band. For starters, there's hardly any guitars on this album, and this isn't a case of a band using keyboards to replicate guitar parts as such either. Instead, the piano is the key instrument, and iof anything I'd say that their style of music is closer to jazz than anything else myself. This isn't a bad easy to categorize however. The main jazz elements here comes courtesy of the rhythm section, as both drums and bass have a tendency to hitch on to both jazz-tinged and more purebred jazz instrument runs while backing the piano and the vocals. And as far as the vocals are concerned, they remind me in style and approach of the lead vocals used by gentle Giant in their heyday more than anything, albeit without the backing vocal harmonies that band was so fond of using in their material. Some whimsical aspects of the vocals have more of a jazzier touch to them, other sections makes me think of folk music. I guess a tad unconventional will cover it, possibly with a bit of pop music orientation to boot. Then there's the piano. Classical and neoclassical wandering, perhaps, sliding of into jazz territories here and there, and with something of a pop music sensibility to the melodies and themes explored. With a wee bit of ragtime tossed in here and there, unless I'm, much mistaken. Mixed and produced to be the dominant instrument throughout, and great care appears to have been taken to capture all aspects of the sound of the piano used too, as the instrument comes across as rich and almost extremely vibrant. The songs themselves tend to be joyful and uplifting affairs, first and foremost due to the elegant piano. Some songs have a more melancholic touch to them, especially the ones where Ayala Fossfeld are involved, but just about all of them stay light in tone, elegant in delivery and tends to have at least sections with a more uplifting spirit to them. On some of the songs we are treated to some token keyboard details and in one instance delicate guitar details find their way into the totality too. We are even treated to an elongated electric piano solo here. But the good, old acoustic piano is the star of this particular show, and do not shy away all that much from the limelight here. While perhaps a wee bit outside of progressive rock as it is usually defined, this is a most elegant production, and the musicians and vocalists are skilled performers. A joyful, positive and uplifting experience in all levels.
Conclusion. Anakdota is a band that merits a check if you want to check out something a bit different. With a foundation in jazz as I experience this album, but with distinct nods in the direction of both classical music and pop music. Music easy on the ears and the mind, yet also featuring some challenging details here and there. Those with a certain affection for piano based jazz should find plenty to enjoy on this album, especially if they are also able to appreciate a band exploring that style seguing over to both pop music and classical music, in sum creating material that arguably is a better fit inside the progressive rock umbrella than anywhere else.
Progmessor: April 29th, 2018
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