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

2020-05-15
Phil May of The Pretty Things RIP – We were saddened to learn that Phil May, lead singer and founding member of The Pretty Things, has died at the age of 75. The band's 1968 album S.F. Sorrow is one of the enduring classics of the psychedelic era, and the group existed in various forms until finally retiring in 2018. » Read more

2020-05-14
Jorge Santana RIP – Jorge Santana, noted guitarist, leader of the band Malo and brother to Carlos Santan, died on May 14 at the age of 68. Jorge and Carlos worked together on a number of occasions, though Jorge's career was centered around Malo, solo work, and with Fania All-Stars. » Read more

2020-05-06
Florian Schneider RIP – Florian Schneider, one of the founders of the pioneering electronic group Kraftwerk, has died at the age of 73. Co-founder Ralf Hütter announced that his bandmate had passed away from cancer after a brief illness. » Read more

2020-04-23
Shindig Festival Goes Lock-Down – Here's what they're saying: It's A Happening Thing! The Shindig! Magazine Lockdown Festival. In our days of no large gatherings of people, maybe it's still possible to have a music festival. Shindig! Magazine is giving it a go with a multi-artist streaming extravaganza on Saturday April 25. » Read more

2020-03-24
Bill Rieflin RIP – The sad news reaches us today of Bill Rieflin's death. Rieflin was best known as a drummer in bands ranging from post-punk to industrial to indie-rock to progressive rock, including work with The Blackouts, Ministry, Nine Inch Nails, Swans, Land, and King Crimson. Rieflin had been battling cancer for several years, and succumbed to it on March 24. He was 59. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Thee Majesty - A Hollow Cost & Thee Fractured Garden – The incarnations of Genesis P-Orridge continue to manifest in many different and sometimes compelling ways. Two of the composer’s spoken word series are reissued here by Voiceprint in part to...  (2005) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues