Franc Cinelli “Night Songs” (Independent, 2019)

A curious and interesting record. Franc Cinelli isn’t a great singer in the conventional sense, that much is true. However, mixed in with deft acousticism and Eastern sounding instrumentation, he comes up with an appealing mix in which his Cat Stevens-ish, Leonard Cohen-esque voice sits quite naturally.

Anglo-Italian Cinelli, employing a group of regular co-conspirators, starts out very strongly, kicking it all off with ‘Adventure-Love’– a pleasing blend of sweet and sinister, with a church organ sound gurgling along in the near distance. Titular track ‘Night Songs’, as with many of the others, has a flavour of John Martyn in the looseness/almost unarranged arrangements. ‘Rave On’ has a great cello sound flowing underneath Cinelli’s vocal; the song develops into an almost raga-like ending, despite its brief running time.

Cinelli likes to build his songs from simple beginnings into full fat endings; ‘When The Fire Is Gone’ starts unassumingly but quickly finishes up in almost spaghetti western, few dollars more territory. Closing track ‘Night Life’, a long one by Cinelli’s standards, is the closest thing he has to ‘rock’, with an angry stylophone-esque, Cinelli’s angry, almost shouted pleas and a drummer beating seven bells out of everything nearby!

There’s a couple of songs that perhaps stray a little too much into late night Radio 2 unremarkable acoustic sleepiness, but that’s a minor criticism really. Cinelli’s overall sound is strangely hypnotising and a  rewarding listen.

Husky, folksy, loose and laid back. Eastern blends with western.
7/10

Author: Mark Nenadic

Quite likes music. Doesn't really like people. From The North. Exiled in The Midlands due to radical views on whippets/flat caps. Beards and plaid shirts belong on Willie Nelson. Everybody else should smarten up a bit ..

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