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Lionville - 2017 A World Of Fools
» Posted by Avatar

jeffrey343
on March 27 2017, In 2017 Articles , 3 Comments , 260 Reads , Print



ARTIST: Lionville
ALBUM: A World Of Fools
LABEL: Frontiers
SERIAL: FRCD 774
YEAR: 2017

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:

LINEUP: Lars Säfsund - vocals * Stefano Lionetti - guitars, keyboards, vocals * Michele Cusato - guitars * Giulio Dagnino - bass * Martino Malacrida - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 I Will Wait * 02 Show Me The Love * 03 Bring Me Back Our Love * 04 Heaven Is Right Here * 05 A World Of Fools * 06 One More Night * 07 All I Want * 08 Living On The Edge * 09 Our Good Goodbye * 10 Paradise * 11 Image Of Your Soul

RATING:

WEBLINKS: www.lionville.it


Background
The first two albums by Stefano Lionetti and his Lionville project were well-received by those of us who are still immersed in this flavor of AOR. George even gave out a rare 10 for the second one, and I myself have them sitting at number 3 and 1 for 2011 and 2012. I doubt I'm the only one who had high expectations for this release. They switched from the Avenue of Allies label to Frontiers, which may have given concern that their sound may veer to what many consider the 'generic Frontiers sound'. Interestingly, this album does not appear to have involvement from Alessandro Del Vecchio, who seems to have his imprints on much of that label's output. Aside from Lionetti and primary vocalist Lars Säfsund, it's totally new lineup. Hopefully this one will sound much like the first two, right?


The Songs
Not to worry - the new label and new musicians do not necessarily mean a new direction. Well, opener 'I Will Wait' does sound an awful lot like it could be from Säfsund's main gig Work Of Art. This one was released in late 2016, and I played the heck out of it. The next two songs were also released early - 'Show Me The Love' and 'Bring Me Back Our Love'. They're uptempo songs that sound much like what's on the first two albums, which means they're quite good. We slow down into ballad territory with the excellent 'Heaven Is Right Here', which compares favorably with all the other great ballads sung by Säfsund on the other Lionville and Work Of Art albums. Title track 'A World Of Fools' picks up the pace again and is behind only the opener in terms of being somewhat harder-edged, but really it's too smooth to come close to being hard. (I guess what I'm saying is that it's all relative, right?) 'One More Night', 'All I Want', and 'Living On The Edge' deliver more of what you expect from these guys, with the last one being a bit more mellow than the title might suggest. I think the first two albums suffered a bit when someone other than Säfsund took the mic. Lionetti was one of the vocalists on some of those songs. While he's not quite the singer as Säfsund, 'Our Good Goodbye' is the best song on here for him to take the lead in the vocal department. Another great song, and it certainly does not derail the momentum. 'Paradise' is more typical Lionville and an enjoyable romp. We close with 'Image Of Your Soul', the most unique arrangement of any song on here with some pretty darn cool solo parts in the middle. I had mentioned how much I enjoyed Anna Portalupi's bass work in my comments on the second album, but Giulio Dagnino delivers the same caliber of performance that adds extra class to these songs.


In Summary
Safe to say that those who enjoyed the first two Lionville albums, as well as Work Of Art and others who capture this sound, will love this one as well. I certainly do - it pushes all the buttons and checks all the boxes. This is one of those repeat play, any mood albums that will be on any short list of albums that I can dial up with minimal effort. Great songs, great vocals, great musicianship - what's not to love?


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Tags: Lionville 
Comments
#1 | gdazegod on April 03 2017 00:59:07
Lionville - 2017 I Will Wait
YouTube Video:
#2 | gdazegod on April 03 2017 00:59:56
I'm thinking the borderline between Lionville and Work Of Art is so fuzzy, they could be one and the same.
#3 | george_the_jack on April 03 2017 01:30:30
I have been playing this in faithful rotation over the last few weeks. It's Lionville for sure. The trademark songwriting is here, so is the feeling. Some good individual songs too.

Initial impressions? Not in the same league/level with ''II'' I'm afraid. This 3rd one gets rather closer to the debut in terms of quality imo. Good but not a masterpiece by any means while the 2nd was that case.

There's also something I don't like with production here. Very boomy and bassy in places. Play the album opener and focus on some critical listening to see what I'm talking about. It kicks off with a stormy rumble in the bass frequencies that I had to play in different setups and headphones to verify it was intended to sound like this. I feel the excellent job Alessandro did behind the production desk in 'II'' keeping an excellent Toto-like balance of all instruments, is sorely missed in the new album.

I also miss the really great numbers here. There is no ''Another Day'', no ''Shinning Over Me'', no ''Waiting for a star to fall'', no ''No turning back'', at least not to my ears. My favourite song so far is the Toto-ish ballad ''Heaven is right here'' which indeed directly connects with the excellent 2012 album, falling into the same quality climax.

For the time being, I'd rate WOF somewhere in between 8.5 and 9, leaning more towards 8.5. (8.7?) I might come back a few months later and see if I changed my mind in any way.
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