Exposé Online banner

Art and Illusion — Seasons
(Mellow MMP 283, 1995, CD)

by Peter Thelen, Published 1997-02-01

Seasons Cover art

When I first broke the seal on this disc and saw the booklet photos with people playing accordions, mandolins, and balalaikas, my curiosity was piqued, hoping for some kind of folk-rock ensemble or such. In fact Art and Illusion is an Italian four-piece pop / rock / prog band which uses such instruments to a minor degree, but on most occasions sticks to the standard guitars, bass, synthesizers and drums as the meat and potatoes of their sound, with guitarist Luca Sabia capably handling the lead vocals. The compositions have a strong pop sensibility, with enough twists and turns and clever arrangements to keep them interesting. The band has an exceptional ability to shift gracefully from gentle introspective phrases into out-and-out rocking force. But A&I is neither neo-prog, nor a 70s AOR throwback; their style is very 90s, in many ways like some other prog-pop bands that have spring up in the last year or so like Germany's Tea in the Sahara and Sweden's Ritual. Lyrics are in English, and Sabia handles them much better than most, while delivering some excellent guitar based song structures, like on the Led Zep influenced "Springtime Again." Barbara Martini tastefully applies the supportive synth colorations, piano, Hammond, and harmonium without dominating the bands' sound. There are plenty of memorable tunes here, plus a rather modern sounding cover of the Genesis classic "I Know What I Like." A strong debut from a band with a future.


Filed under: New releases, Issue 11, 1995 releases

Related artist(s): Art and Illusion

Latest news

2018-06-05
Koenjihyakkei Seeks Funding for New Album – It's been quite a few years since the last new studio album by the amazing Koenjihyakkei. Now they are preparing Dhormimviskha for worldwide release, and they're asking fans to pre-order via a Kickstarter campaign to help it happen. » Read more

2018-05-14
Glenn Branca RIP – Experimental guitarist and composer Glenn Branca has died at the age of 69. He was known for compositions featuring large ensembles of guitars, and for the use of feedback. He founded his band Theoretical Girls in the mid-70s as an art-punk answer to what he saw as the increasing commercialization of punk music. His compositions were highly influential, with such figures as David Bowie, Thurston Moore, and John Lurie among his fans. » Read more

2018-04-05
OBEY Convention XI Set for May 24-28 in Halifax – As the 2018 festival season rapidly approaches, we’d like you to be aware of a real treasure of diverse and creative music that’s going to take place in Halifax, Nova Scotia, next month. The OBEY Convention is on its 11th outing, and features a wide range of artists from around the world. From avant-industrial noise to experimental takes on Classical Chinese music, from chamber jazz to doom metal, from ambient soundscapes to Canadian First Nations drumming, you’d be hard pressed to find a festival with more variety in sound anywhere in the world. » Read more

2018-04-04
Close to the Rain Festival in Bergen Announces Lineup – Now in its second year, the Close to the Rain Festival of progressive music is scheduled to take place in Bergen, Norway, on June 7 - 9. They've got an amazing slate of bands lined up, including such powerhouses as Anekdoten, Major Parkinson, Arabs in Aspic, Tusmørke, and many more. » Read more

2018-03-01
Seaprog 2018 Artist Announcements Raise Festival's Profile – Seattle's Seaprog festival has been going since 2013, and the 2018 edition features a slate of artists that's sure to bring more attention to the event. Cheer-Accident, Bubblemath, and Free Salamander Exhibit are in the first round announcement of performers. In keeping with their tradition of focusing on regional artists, they will also present a number of artists from Washington and Oregon. [Edit: Just added: Inner Ear Brigade] » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Wigwam - Some Several Moons – Jim Pembroke and Wigwam were one of those acts who occupied a welcome place between rock and progressive music in Finland. Pembroke’s songwriting style is an easy match to much of Nektar’s...  (2006) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues