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Skylark - Fairytales 4/5

Reviewed: 11-18-05


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

I really didn't have any idea of what quality to expect from Skylark's latest CD 'Fairytales'. Their previous CD 'Wings' was a major disappointment, as not only did it have a horrid production, but was also too soft, wimpy, and left me amazed that they could release such a CD after teasing us with the 2 brilliant 'Divine gates' CDs from 4 or 5 years ago. I was optimistic going in however, as word was quickly spread that female vocalist Kiara (who made a short appearance on 'Wings') has dominated the vocal responsibility. This is certainly true, as she sings on the first 6 songs and leaves only the last 2 for Fabio Dozzo, the band's usual and somewhat weak vocalist.

Despite my love for female vocalists and anticipation to hear Kiara's domination, the first few spins were very hard for me to digest. It was quite mind-boggling to hear familiar Skylark music with vocals completely different than Dozzo's. I found myself wishing that the 2 would have sung together on songs, rather than each of them having their own songs. I felt that this would have helped ease the listener into Skylark's new vocal direction, and not doing this may be the reason there are many reviews with low scores/ratings floating around the Internet. But this is a perfect example of why many listens can be extremely important in thoroughly understanding the true quality of a CD. This is only my opinion, but my experience with this CD has gradually gone from disarray to admiration. Kiara's excellent vocals have grown on me and now shine like she was meant to sing with the band from the very beginning.

Not only has Skylark greatly improved in the vocal department, musically I find this CD to be miles ahead of 'Wings'. The production is much better, but still not the band's best to date and barely reaches average when compared to the majority of the Italian power metal bands. So those who have never really been satisfied with the production of Skylark's material overall will certainly feel the same about 'Fairytales'. But production isn't everything, how well the songs are written is much more important in my mind. Like many times before, Skylark proves that they have some of the best songwriting skills around, excelling with their beautiful melodies. The many piano, keyboard and harpsichord parts have completely hooked me in and I have a hard time listening to the CD while doing anything else... the music needs my full attention. The first 6 songs with Kiara on vocals are absolute gems (my favorite being the long "Lions are the world") and I really wish she had sung the final 2 songs as well. While I still hope they can someday obtain a production that will reflect their amazing music, I forget about the production for the most part with 'Fairytales', as the songwriting, coupled with Kiara's vocals, show us what really great music is all about.




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