Best track: chance of a lifetime
click album cover to listen
in just over two and a half years, we've had some exemplary releases from don dellpiero. he has created some truly unique compilations that should garner a lot more recognition than they currently have. 'time travel' came to the fore back in october 2018 and i absolutely adore it to this day. 'that friday feeling' came before it with an outstanding titular track. i could go on for hours about his catalogue!
so what can you expect from the synthwave dream machine that is MR Dellpiero? well...much of the same to be honest. slow progressions, pokey guitar solos and an ultimately feel-good experience that makes you yearn for the beaches of san junipero.
it could be true that the best track from the album is the opening one, although i'm still deciding as i write this, as unlike his previous works, there isn't the usual superior track. 'meet you at the 80s arcades' is a simple yet spritely number with so many retro percussions that you lose count. one thing is blindingly clear about his music is the progressive sound, although it's not blindingly clear until you're turning down your speaker at the request of your flat mate.
with such long tracks and no obvious changes in structure or tempo, the longevity of those build-ups really goes unnoticed. i guess you could call this 'getting lost in the music'. the second track goes by the same name as the album and magnificently illustrates plenty of those corny 80s movie scenes set in the bedroom, a couple of protagonists in love, accompanied by white curtains blowing softly in the breeze and the room is lit up by a perfectly-timed full-moon. you know the one's i'm talking about...
'radical gadgets' is another example of primitive structure vastly improved by that subtle build once more. And it's at this point that you might realise this album is no different from the rest. the smooth and alluring guitar begins right on cue to give that additional element because quite frankly without it, the track would be a bit 'meh'. and this is where don dellpiero plays to his strengths...timing. sometimes you hear tracks where synth and guitar solos feel a bit out of place. if you've heard enough of his stuff, you almost have a relationship with the music to the point that you know what's going to come next and when it's going to come.
and yes you're probably saying, 'where's the fun in that?' well i'm not here for fun, i'm here hoping that this album will go some way to rekindling the atmosphere and romance of his previous albums and i'm happy for him to do it his way. 'the resurrection of a hero' is a properly full-blooded soundtrack to a late 70's cop drama and certain aspects of this track really reminded me of 'the alan parsons project'.
there's a huge suprise in the track 'neon underground'...are you ready for this? there's actually lyrics! I know I couldn't believe it either. although i'm not entirely sure i warmed to them. however, i did warm to the next track to in intense level. i'm a sucker for an incandescent interlude and 'adventure seekers' simply takes me back to when i first saw the flora and fauna scene in avatar 3d with colours i'd never witnessed before. i was mesmerised!
another change of direction from mr dellpiero is an increase in tempo in the form of 'come fly with me' but he's never too far from his roots as the end of the track features our good friend the guitar once more. okay...newsflash, i've had to amend my favourite track. it's 'chance of a lifetime' and i'm not going to budge on this one. there's an intro remeniscent to that of 'where the streets have no name' by u2 and a gut-wrenching beauty that'll bring a tear to the eye of hollywoods latest hard-man. and i am so grateful that this is one of the longest tracks on the album as i really didn't want it to end. its scintillatingly-good and manages to be melancholic and uplifting at the same time.
for me, this track sits alongside 'childhood heroes of the past' and 'in search of samantha'. they're very much in the same mould and all equally as grand as one another. my only criticism would be the placing of the last track. i was expecting a tranquil outro and instead we're given the most energizing song from the album. i'm not saying it's a bad track, i just question it's whereabouts.
so i have a confession to make. i approached this album with the opinion that this isn't on the same level as 'time travel'. and i still believe this to be the case. however, i warmed to it quite a bit throughout a more concentrated listen and i've come to the conclusion that this might just about be his second best collection of songs. if you're a fan of his previous efforts than you won't be disappointed by this one. it's a masterpiece of dreamwave, intertwined with regular spells of nostaligia in the form of balanced guitars and exquisite synths that capture the 80's in all its glory. add this to your 'must-listen' playlist. Joe Ward 8.5/10
a visual representation of the album: