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Marti - Better Mistakes

  by Sarah Mwangi

published: 18 / 2 / 2010



Marti - Better Mistakes
Label: Fod Records
Format: CD

intro

Occasionally atmospheric, but ultimately incohesive and middle of the road second album from Marti, the band of Italian actor Andrea Bruschi


Wikipedia's labelling of Marti as a "new wave-dark rock" band puts two things in my mind. One, that there’s another band called Marti and an overzealous contributor put this information in the wrong page. Or two, that that very same overzealous contributor is a perfect example of why Wikipedia cannot be trusted or at the very least must be taken with a handful of salt. "New wave-dark rock", Marti are not, unless that somehow means, middle of the boad band with a superfluous, egotistical front-man. ‘Better Mistakes’ is the second album from the Italian band lead by actor (among other things) Andrea Bruschi. Singing in English save one song, Marti offer us ‘An Eleven Song Cinematic Affair’ where he channels Bryan Ferry via Nick Cave and comes out sounding like, well, Andrea Bruschi, actor-wannabe-balladeer. ‘Better Mistakes’ treads a fine line between the tolerable and the intolerable. The former being ‘Havana Bride’, ‘Per Pochi Attimi’ ‘Intro’ and just barely, ‘The Girl that Turns Off Street Lamps’ and the latter, every time Andrea sings. He can hold a note or two, but he thinks he can do more and that’s when the wavering note changes appear and become a cringing affair. Andrea flourishes most when he exercises restraint and lets the softer, lower register of his voice float on the music his band mates create. ‘Havana Bride’ is an enchanting example of this and the album’s redeeming song. Here you can see the cinematic imagery Marti were aiming for with when they sub-headlined it as ‘Cinematic’, the smoky jazz bar double bass, sweeping strings and melancholy piano capturing the lost-in-time qualities of Havana and indeed, lost love. Andrea stated that each song is a movie in its own right and therein lies yet another mistake. Each song is in a sphere of its own. And with nothing but Andrea’s monotonous drone to bind the songs together, the scenes presented jump from one character, one plot and one location to another without the audience developing any attachment to them. A cinematic theme is too large to make a cohesive album and the erratic changes challenge the album’s overall flow. In addition, the album’s concept is well beyond the capacities of Andrea's voice which make for a tiresome, uninspiring and frustrating experience. I haven’t seen Andrea act, so I can’t rightly comment on that, but given this performance, his vocals convey as much emotion as Keanu Reeves in... well, basically anything. To be fair and more accurate he sounds exactly like Ewan McGregor in 'Moulin Rouge'. Yeah sure, he can sing but once you remove Baz Luhrmann’s creativity, the beautiful leading lady and the theatrical decadence, you know you can’t endure prolonged renditions of Elton John’s ‘Your Song’. Such is the tragedy of ‘Better Mistakes’, that without the supporting cast Andrea is hell-bent on overpowering, this album wouldn’t be worth a full run-through. But in spite of his tread marks, there are moments filled with cinematic atmosphere, albeit fleeting moments but nevertheless noted moments. The music is well executed and can be heard skilfully in the intros of each song, (basically before Andrea chimes in with his lifeless balladeering). I was never settled when listening to ‘Better Mistakes’. Andrea’s vocals were forever haunting me and the anticipation of his inferior and distracting key changes was enough to make me lose my nerve on a number of occasions. It’s not that he can’t sing. He simply lacks the range or emotional timbre to raise the quality of the songs. They would have been better off making an instrumental album.



Track Listing:-
1 Intro
2 The Price We Pay
3 In Flagrante Delicto
4 Wouldn't It Be Fine
5 The Return of the Dishwasher
6 10 Long Years
7 Havana Bride
8 Better Mistakes
9 The Most Implausible Thing
10 No Stains
11 It Doesn't Make Me Happy
12 The Girl That Turns Off Street Lamps
13 Per Pochi Attimi (Bonus Track)



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