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The Rock-itt : September 2009
I have to say I'm quite excited about this debut album by Tony Nero, a seasoned musician and songwriter with a long and respectable history of performing, writing and recording, 'Black Eagle' is a superb collection of danceable, poppy, folky and fun tracks with a Latin flavour and a central romance theme. It also includes 3 bonus classics from previous recordings which in contrast, have a distinct country/folk feel. Well written and sung from the heart, every track is strong with some absolute gems. The combination of Tony's big baritone voice and infectious singalong melodies backed by punchy sequenced bass, tasteful piano and keyboards and pumpy, danceable rhythms, zestfully laced with 80's blues/rock guitar will capture and romance you at first listen, and although relatively lively, it is also relaxing and soothing. It was recorded and produced at Jungle Studios by Shaun Looker who is also responsible for the great guitar playing on most of the tracks. Dance with Me - A great opening track, the smooth, Robert Palmer style vocal sits nicely over a refreshing Caribbean feel with light keys and reggae bass lines. It's beautiful sax solo floats above the lively rhythm of timbales and if you close your eyes, you could be easily whisked away to the Lido deck of 'The Love Boat'. I Love You Only - a strong love song with meaningful lyrics, it pumps along with a solid 8 beat rhythm and a 50's style progression and a catchy melody. It features chorusy guitar interludes and a nice piano break. Chicago Blues -- is a great, showy, blues number that packs a punch. Typically about Italian immigrants visiting America and falling in love with the women, music, gambling and booze then having to go back to their families forgetting what they've seen. China Doll - solid and very catchy, starts with a nice Tijuana brass intro then leads with Tony's big vocal over light scratchy guitar and piano and a big band rock rhythm with added tambourine. Astro Venus -- starting with chime sprinkles, this fun, poppy, fantasy, like the Venus in the song, appears out of nowhere and takes you on a ride beyond the stars. Reggae bass and offbeat keys form the main rhythm complimented by responsorial guitar licks with nice sans vibrato and a raunchy solo. The slight reverb on the vocal adds to the spacey feel. Angel Eyes - Romantic and upbeat Latin feel with a smooth vocal and a great disco'y bass riff over a 16 beat soul rhythm, features nice keyboards and plenty of crisp ZZ Top style lead. You are the One - A refreshing upbeat ballad with syncopated rhythm and brass accents, light guitar, strings and punchy bass with a nice melodious piano solo. Memories -- pure magic, this light and airy gem is my favourite, superbly crafted with so much feeling that it will instantly transport you. The simple backing of bass, light strings, piano tinkles and light snare and rimshots perfectly compliment an infectious melody floating above it with beautiful dreamy Sax. This is one of Tony's most beautiful songs, reminiscent of the past; this love song will truly stand the test of time. Let Me Believe - Perfectly designed for Valentine's Day, this wishful Romeo & Juliet scene will bring out the Valentino in anyone. Charged with solid, half beats over 80's pop rhythm and scratchy guitar, it features a nice harmony lead of duelling pan flutes. And if all things go well, the last track goes off with a bang getting you home as 'Hot Romancing' explores dirty dancing in the moonlight and whatever comes next with this steamy, upbeat Latin flavoured dance featuring a smooth vocal and sizzling guitar licks. The first of the bonus tracks 'Australia Australia' is a classic, country, Australian travelling song which is up there with the best of them. Starting with a big fanfare, it speaks of Tony's passion and love of this country and has a big, sing a long chorus and nice harmonica break. It also gives mention to Aboriginals and has the potential to be adopted as an alternative Aussie anthem. 'Make it Simple, Make it Nice' infectious, perky, upbeat, bluegrass that will get your feet stomping quick smart and dance in your head for days, (no cure for this one) it features a collection of country instruments including the banjo. 'My Cinderella' -- this last track is a powerful ballad in sweeping rock waltz with a folky feel that will lead you around the room. It features light, dreamy strings and a nice combination of acoustic picking and sweet classical guitar weaving in and out as it novelly reverses the traditional roles. More than just playing across different genres, Tony has managed to combine them all to create his own unique sound using old and modern styles. I loved this album, start to finish and I'm sure you will too. Fun, Romantic, Infectious. Enjoy. Paz Buy the CD online now!