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Franck Carducci

Oddity

Review by Gary Hill

This album definitely has a classic progressive rock sound, but it’s a modern take on that element. Carducci lists Steve Hackett as one of his biggest influences, but I really don’t hear all that much Hackett on show. Sure, there is Hackett influence here, but a lot of other sounds seem to reign with more authority. All in all, though, this is killer prog rock tinged with classic rock elements. It’s sure to please the prog purists, but might also be of significant interest to newer progressive rock fans, too.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2011  Volume 4 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Achilles

Coming in hard edged, this becomes almost a progressive rock goes fusion arrangement. It works through quite a few minor changes as it continues to grow and change. Then after a short linking section it drops to a keyboard dominated section for the vocals. We get some Floydian sounds after a time and this thing works out from there into a great, fusion meets progressive rock jam. Then around the four and a half minute mark it shifts to something akin to Genesis, but it works out from there in a harder rocking movement that’s more like prog meets The Beatles. There’s a killer jam later that has a lot of Yes and Genesis built into it. Then it works to something not that far removed from ELP. Around the seven minute mark it drops way down to a sedate folk meets prog telling. Around the ten minute mark it fires out into another fast paced movement that’s rather Yes-like. Still later we’re taken into a melodic movement that’s got a bit of a Pink Floyd vibe. That section takes it to a crescendo and an acoustic guitar treatment takes the piece out.

The Quind

Coming in quite mellow, this grows out gradually. It’s quite pretty at times, but also dramatic. Comparisons to Pink Floyd are certainly appropriate at times. It becomes folk meets classical, prog and space rock for the vocals. There are a lot of Pink Floyd elements built into that segment. There’s a cool keyboard dominated jam later that has some Genesis, ELP and Pink Floyd in the mix. It grows out further down the road with some Yes-like sounds added to the original mix of sounds. That section doesn’t remain long, though and ends it.

The Eyes of Age
This comes in with a folk rock sort of musical element and vocals that remind me a bit of Geddy Lee. Then a Celtic air is added to the mix as more instruments join. There’s almost a country sound to this, but if you really listen to it, old school country music is derived heavily from Irish music. Around the two minute mark it shifts to a classically oriented movement that’s keyboard dominated and it gradually grows out from there. The Celtic sounds return as it works further along. Around the four minute mark it turns to a jazzy little segment that takes it out.
Alice's Eerie Dream
A harder rocking section that’s laden with keyboards starts this out and it turns a bit like ELP for a time. As the guitar screams out later this feels a bit like a crunchier version of Kansas. While this is more straightforward than some of the other music, there’s no mistaking the progressive rock on hand. Then, around the four minute mark, it drops back to a more sedate movement with a lot of keyboards at its base. It works out from there with some definite Pink Floyd leanings. When it turns harder rocking, it still has a decided Pink Floyd sound. There are some blues-like sounds and some truly inspired vocal deliveries. The spirit of David Gilmour is alive on some of the guitar soloing. There’s even some funky music later.
The Last Oddity
In some ways this is more Pink Floyd-like than other music on show here. There’s quite a bit of dynamic range and some seriously retro sounding music. Of course, we also get some moments that are closer to Genesis and a Yes-like jam around the five minute mark. This is a dynamic cut that really feels like it could have come out of the 1970s. The jam around the five and a half minute mark is so much like early Pink Floyd it’s scary. It is really quite a fluid progression that’s very organic. You might even make out traces of the Allman Brothers on this.
The Carpet Crawlers (Bonus Track)
The first of two bonus tracks, this is Carducci’s rendition of the Genesis classic. It’s certainly not a faithful rendering. And, that’s not a bad thing. This almost has a bit of a Beatles feeling at times. It’s an intriguing take on the tune. The chorus section is closer to the Genesis version of the piece, though.
Alice's Eerie Dream (Radio Edit) (Bonus Track)
The final song of the set, as the title suggests, is another bonus track and a radio edit of the earlier piece. As the most accessible number of the set, this is an obvious choice for the radio. Perhaps radio is different in Europe than in the United States, though. In the US, there really is no such thing as radio that’s open to independent music, except for college radio. This is really a smoking hot tune that could earn a lot of fans for Carducci, particularly in this trimmed down format.
 
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