Exposé Online banner

Alex Carpani — So Close. So Far.
(Ma.Ra.Cash Records MRC060, 2016, CD)

by Jon Davis, Published 2016-08-02

So Close. So Far. Cover art

We managed to miss out on Carpani’s previous release, 4 Destinies from 2014, but I’m happy to report that 2016’s So Close. So Far. is a stellar example of modern progressive rock that honors the past without wallowing in it. Carpani’s songs are well written, consisting of ten tracks of moderate length — no epic suites here, just concise statements that do their thing and get out of the way for the next track. The artwork has a dystopian edge to it, with figures in gas masks, but the lyrics (almost all in English) don’t seem to coincide with that at all, instead consisting mainly of personal observations that apply to modern life. Vocal duties are balanced between Carpani himself and Joe Sal, and in general this sounds more like a band effort than a keyboard player’s solo album. Ettore Salati’s guitars in particular are given lots of great spots, whether it’s beautiful picked acoustic or soaring electric. Carpani’s keyboards are of course stellar, and the instrumentation and details of tone are chosen well. Many tracks take unexpected turns in the keyboard department, like the percolating sequence that runs through “Next Time.” There are occasional sampled voices from historical sources, though the connection between the voice and the song where it appears seems arbitrary. This is a really solid album, and it’s hard to find fault anywhere. I’d have to say that even though the vocals (both lead and backing) are outstanding throughout, it might be nice to get an instrumental workout thrown in the mix to see what these guys can do. My only real complaint is that Carpani is indulging in the modern trend of over-punctuating album titles (see Hand. Cannot. Erase.), presumably for some kind of emphasis.


Filed under: New releases, 2016 releases

Related artist(s): Alex Carpani

Latest news

2017-05-19
First ProgStock Festival Set for October – October 2017 will see the inaugural edition of a festival called ProgStock in Rahway, New Jersey at the Union County Performing Arts Center. With a definite slant towards neo-progressive music, the event is sure to please many fans with the inclusion of such artists as Echolyn, Glass Hammer, and Aisles. The festival will take place October 13-15. » Read more

2017-05-05
Clive Brooks RIP – Word reaches us today of another sad passing in the music world. Drummer Clive Brooks, best known as a member of such Canterbury bands as Egg, Uriel / Arzachel, and Groundhogs, has died at the age of 67. Details are sketchy at this point. The news was reported on Nick Mason's Facebook page — Brooks was Mason's drum tech. » Read more

2017-05-02
Col. Bruce Hampton RIP – The phrase "He died doing what he loved" is almost a cliche, but in the case of Col. Bruce Hampton, it couldn't be more true. Hampton, who was born Gustav Berglund III, collapsed on stage at his own 70th birthday celebration and later passed away. The event took place at the Fox Theater in Atlanta. » Read more

2017-04-16
ProgDay 2017 Announces First Bands – Flor de Loto, Sonar, and Infinien are the first three performers to be announced for the 2017 edition of the long-running ProgDay Festival. The 23rd ProgDay takes place Saturday and Sunday, September 2nd and 3rd, at Storybook Farm in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. » Read more

2017-04-16
Allan Holdsworth RIP – Surely in the list of artists who have contributed to the sound of modern music, there is a special spot for guitarist Allan Holdsworth. His name is known to virtually every student of the instrument in jazz and rock, and his style has been so widely emulated that it's hardly worth mentioning anymore — we can just assume that every guitarist has Holdsworth as an influence. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Annbjørg Lien - Aliens Alive – Annbjørg Lien’s career has taken her from traditional Norwegian solo fiddling to 2000’s Baba Yaga, with its progressive and world music influences. On this live release, she and her band (a total...  (2003) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues