Exposé Online banner

Petrina — Be Blind
(Ala Bianca, 2016, CD)

by Jon Davis, Published 2016-07-08

Be Blind Cover art

After last year’s collection of adaptations of the music of other composers, Debora Petrina is back with Be Blind, a set of original tunes stylistically reminiscent of Petrina (2013). In some ways, this release is more conventional than much of her previous work, emphasizing the more rock-oriented tendencies that she has occasionally explored. But that is not to say that Be Blind is ordinary or boring in any way. There are fewer of the quiet, subtle moments, but more of the powerful rhythmic energy that worked so effectively on “Denti” or “Princess.” The attitude is a bit like Tori Amos’ most progressive work (like Boys for Pele), presenting fascinating, unpredictable, sonically adventurous takes on popular song forms. Each of the ten tracks has its own identity, with differing blends of electric, electronic, and acoustic sounds. “Paper Debris (What Remains of Our Conversations),” with its electronic percussion and massive synth-bass, is followed by “Miles,” with a full band sound and a great 7/4 groove, and “Frog Song” is almost like a collaboration between Laurie Anderson and Devo (except the piano / cello middle section). Petrina’s keyboards range widely, from acoustic piano to a variety of synths and organ sounds. The guitar work, when present, is consistently good, providing the right touches of noise and distortion but only rarely playing standard parts. The surf-inspired riff on “I Like” is a wonderful touch that keeps the music grounded. When additional instruments are brought into the arrangements, they are beautifully arranged and interesting in their own rights. To cap it all off, Petrina’s amazing voice commands attention, whether she’s whispering or belting out powerful melodies. Every track is a winner, proving that incredible art can be accomplished in the arena of popular songcraft.


Filed under: New releases, 2016 releases

Related artist(s): Debora Petrina

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...

Various Artists - A Propos d'Ange – In the history of French rock, two names stand out among all others in terms of leadership, originality of style, and influence over all that would follow. Magma's contribution is well known, having...  (1994) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues