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Bruno Pignatiello: “The English Years” – a classic retro sound and a futuristic feel

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Posted June 19, 2016 by Peter Burns in Headlines

Bruno Pignatiello was born in Rome, and only in recent years he matured the awareness of being born in a city of extraordinary beauty and ordinary chaos. Bruno enjoys listening to all the sounds and languages of the world but he prefers, above all, those coming from Brazil and the Lusitanian areas. A Bachelor of Arts, in the linguistic field, he likes to write the lyrics of his songs in Portuguese, which has now become a kind of adoptive language. At the same time he does not neglect his Italic roots or the English language which is his first cultural passion.

The EP Cover

The EP Cover

In the past, before making some trips abroad (Brazil, Portugal, Canada, Greece, Great Britain), Bruno devoted himself to the divulgation of the music performed by some Brazilian artists belonging to the “geração roqueira”. At the close of 2015 Bruno Pignatiello released his EP entitled “The English Years”, which also features the talents of American musician and songwriter, Marisa Frantz.

Though containing only 4 tracks, the songs are both personal and powerful. The EP opens with the track “The Angel Flight” which is an ode to Bruno’s parents who have passed away. Then moves on to “Sweet Eighties” (feat. Marisa Frantz), which needs no explaining, as the title says it all. This is followed by “1966”, which is actually coincides with Bruno’s year of birth, before closing with the eloquent, and probably the best track on the EP – “The elegAnt Man” (feat. Marisa Frantz), which takes a completely different look at Joseph Merrick, the so called “Elephant Man”.

Steeped in retro rock, Bruno’s many musical influences are laid bare for all to see yet this EP comes out feeling iconic and refreshing. It has immediate pull and accessibility while having a depth that warrants countless listens. The incredible mixing creates a big, open sound that makes the EP great played through big speakers and headphones alike.

Marisa Frantz

Marisa Frantz

Compelling all the way, “The English Years”, goes from electric/acoustic instrument-based soundscapes, to a synth and effect layered arrangements, that doesn’t forego its pop-rock foundations. Interestingly “The elegAnt Man” is one of those songs that just hit you from the first listen and it makes complete sense. Marisa Frantz’s delicate and ethereal voice brings a strong spiritual flavor to the tune, while Bruno Pignatiello’s deeper vocals contrast it with a more worldly sound.

These two ‘opposites’ distinctly capture the physical and metaphysical being of Joseph Merrick. In a short period of time this recording with its swirling piano lines, formidable string back drops and hammering attack, sounds like one of the main contenders for any accolades you may want to bestow on this EP, but more than that it’s the one song you’re going to seek out more often and with undue haste.

“The English Years” has a classic retro sound and a futuristic feel; a timeless quality connecting human development. Through every listen the lyrics become more clear and relevant. These songs feel satisfying and reassuring, because they ring with the poignant, easygoing warmth of an old friend, radiating an echoing resonance of comfort and openness.

This is one of those rare recordings by a contemporary artist that will appeal to fans who grew up on music made in previous decades, combining elements of classic rock with more modern sonic touches. Bruno Pignatiello truly bridges musical generations.

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