Lionville - 2011 Lionville

geoviangeovian Earth Orbit
edited October 2020 in year-2011

ARTIST: Lionville
ALBUM: Lionville
LABEL: Avenue Of Allies
SERIAL: 11-11-0030
YEAR: 2011

LINEUP: Stefano Lionetti - lead & backing Vocals, guitars * Lars Safsund - lead vocals * Alessandro DelVecchio - keyboards, backing vocals * Pierpaolo Monti - drums

Guests: Bruce Gaitsch, Tommy Denander, Eric Martensson, Sven Larsson, Arabella Vitanc, Mario Percudani, Andrea Maddalone, Anna Portalupi, Amos Monti

TRACK LISTING: 01 Here By My Side * 02 With You * 03 Center Of My Universe * 04 Thunder In Your Heart * 05 World Without Your Love * 06 Power Of My Dreams * 07 No End In Sight * 08 The Chosen Ones * 09 Over And Over Again * 10 Dreamhunter * 11 Say Goodbye

RATING: image


Last year, Avenue Of Allies released two fantastic albums which are kind of indirectly related to this groovy new CD from Italian project Lionville.

First, there was Pierpaolo Monti's superb Shining Line CD, followed by the Swedish West Coast masterpiece State Cows. I mention the term 'indirectly related', but there are connections all over the place.

Firstly, record label Avenue Of Allies who have released some quite astounding CD's over the last two years are connected because Lionville appear on their books.

Does Lionville top the lot? I'll leave you to ponder on that one. Secondly, musicians that have featured elsewhere on AoA's releases find themselves queuing up on this one.

Then of course there is the Swedish west coast connection, with Work Of Art and Enbound vocalist Lars Safsund becoming the new Joe Lynn Turner and Jeff Scott Soto as the singer of choice for many new projects.

Let's not forget the man with the 'lion in the name' (not mane eh?), Stefano Lionetti who has hooked up with Pierpaolo Monti and Alessandro DelVecchio, who in turn bought Safsund into the fold.

Lionville is not just about these four men, there are guests galore who appear among the 11 tracks on offer.

The Songs

Safsund's vocals as expected are top drawer throughout, and thankfully he sings for the most part. Lionetti sings on occasion but his accented English isn't a good fit to be honest.

There are a bunch of good (no, correct that, excellent) songs, as evidenced by the superb opener 'Here By My Side', the Work Of Art influenced 'Living With You' and 'Power Of My Dreams' which really is WOA part two, though the duet vocals of Safsund and Lionetti spoils what could've been the album highlight.

'Centre Of My Universe' is a Toto flavoured piece with shared vocals once again, and it's the same deal once again unfortunately.

'The Chosen Ones' is another uptempo track with some superb musical arrangements but the lead vocal incursion of Alyson Avenue singer Arabella Vitanc isn't as good as the album bio would have you believe.

'Over And Over Again' is a ballad featuring Lionetti on vocals. It has its moments, but it was a hard sell for me as I'm not a fan of his voice at all.

'Dreamhunter' might sound competent musically, but the title and lyrics are kinda silly.

'Say Goodbye' finishes up as an acoustic ballad, on what is mostly a very good record.

In Summary

Lionville has acquired many friends and fans through this album. The material here is cohesive enough between AOR and west coast.

It takes on the appearance of an all-stars event where everybody brings their contribution to the table, as a result, the differing flavours makes this sound like a compilation album of pot luck proportions.

Perhaps last years Shining Line could've been accused of the same thing, but the songs on that were very strong.

For what it's worth, I like this album, but I'm not totally enamoured with it, as I've taken weeks of listening and have only just put pen to paper. That goes to show just how indifferent I feel about it.

Others will feel differently, as many did when listening to the new Journey CD. No doubt many opinions will differ to mine, but I put it in the good to very good category and not any more than that I'm afraid.

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