Skylark - Fairytales 4.5/5

Reviewed: 11-18-05





Tracklist:

1. Music
2. First night
3. A rose in her hand
4. Lions are the world
5. I´m the evil
6. Moonlight shadow
7. Little red riding hood
8. Love


‘Fairytales’ is Skylark’s 7th CD and finds the band going in a new direction while, at the same time, still sounding unmistakably like themselves. Main songwriter Eddy Antonini is writing as well as ever and even seems to have found a 2nd wind after his songwriting sounded just a little burnt out for the previous 2 CDs. As has been the case for all but the first 2 CDs, the production is average, at best, but doesn’t spoil the CD. The biggest change on ‘Fairytales’ is that the band is moving towards a new singer. Female vocalist Kiara made here debut on one track on the previous CD, ‘Wings’, and she is thrust into the spotlight on ‘Fairytales’ by being the singer on about 2/3 of the CD. Skylark’s long-time male singer, Fabio Dozzo, remains with the band and is the singer on the rest of the CD.

The 2/3 of the CD sung by Kiara are all at the start of the CD. This makes me wonder if Dozzo is being phased out of the band, but only time will tell on that. Kiara brings a different feel to the band. While Dozzo has a unique voice that makes some people cringe, but which other people associate completely with Skylark, Kiara has a more typical, and simply a better, voice. She has a slight accent but nothing close to that of Dozzo and she is able to hit high notes easily and without causing the listener pain as Dozzo often does. All the songs she sings on are good, but they are quite varied. There are tracks “First night” which has the standard chugging guitars with keyboards behind them. “A rose in the hand” and “I’m the evil” are 2 of the catchiest tracks that the band has ever done and “Lions are the world” is the prototypical Skylark epic with slow parts, fast parts, keyboard solos and an exceptionally strong melody.

The last 2 tracks are sung by Dozzo, but the first of those 2 is over 18 minutes so he gets more time on this CD than it sounds like if you hear that he’s only on 2 tracks. Dozzo’s first track is the epic “Little red riding hood” which is a spectacular track, the quality of which can match up to any previous Skylark track. It has multiple parts, many different sounds, fast and slow sections, originality combined with familiarity and excellent melodies. Dozzo is effective on the track in his own way, but he will never have a top quality voice and his strong accent has remained over the year. His other track, the CD’s finale is decent, but is the weakest on the CD. For some reason Antonini has a tendency to end CDs with a weak track on some of his CDs and, while “Love” is far from the worst finale Skylark has had, it isn’t a strong track.

‘Fairytales’ appears to be a transition CD for the band. There is instant familiarity, of course, as the same songwriter still dominates. But the switch to mostly female vocals is a big change, as is the move to some more catchiness in the songwriting, especially in the shorter tracks. The production is still not great, but it is decent. Skylark’s production has had a very bad reputation due to its first 2 CDs which had muddy production to the point of partly ruining the CDs. Since then the production has been much better, but still thin. Skylark with a thick, lush production would be something to behold, but the current production is satisfactory. Eddy Antonini is one of the most naturally talented songwriters I have ever had the pleasure to listen to and it shows up very strongly on this highly recommended CD.



DAVID




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