Paolo Baltaro -
Low Fare Flight To The Earth

(CD 2009, 46:28, Musea FGBG 4815)

The tracks:
  1- Good Care(4'07)
  2- Sunny Days(3'49)
  3- I'm Checking Out(4'37)
  4- Nowhere Street(4'11)
  5- Manchester(4'49)
  6- You'll Never Die On Me(3'21)
  7- Low Fare Flight To The Earth(2'52)
  8- Italian Guns(3'20)
  9- Get Home(4'02)
10- Goodnight Paris(11'15)

Paolo Baltaro Website        samples        Musea Records

When I got a vinyl copy of Low Fare Flight To The Earth from Paolo Baltaro, his name didnít ring a bell. According to the info sheet made by the Musea-label, he is an experienced and talented Italian musician, though. He is also the keyboardist and bass player on Normality Of Perversion (1994), the latest studio album of Arcansiel. His website mentions contributions on albums with Mhmm (Do Not Disturb, 2008), Roulette Cinese (Che Fine Ha Fatto Baby Love, 2000) and S.A.D.O. (Holzwege, 2007). Iím familiar with Arcansiel, but I never heard of the other three bands. You can describe Arcansielís music as progressive rock. However, when I listened to Low Fare Flight To The Earth, I didnít hear a single note that comes close to the music performed by Arcansiel. Baltaroís songs contain all the elements to make them radio-friendly and therefore the music sounds very commercial. Itís obvious that heís aiming for a larger audience.
Musea called Baltaroís music a mix of pop and rock music. The info sheet also mentions that the music has progressive rock colours on keyboards and aggressive and powerful sequences related to the music by Porcupine Tree. Well, to be honest, I couldnít find much in Paoloís music that reminded me of PT. However, the singing of Mr. Baltaro has a strong resemblance with John Mitchell. That same kind of voice as we hear on the albums John made with Kino and It Bites. Even the songs reminded me from time to time of Picture, Kinoís debut album. That album also has a poppy approach and the songs are not that complicated. The music on Picture, however, has without doubt a higher quality level. That doesnít mean that Paolo Baltaro made a weak album. By no means! Someone who writes all the material and plays almost every instrument on this album must be very talented and ambitious. Paolo Baltaro made a nice sounding album with fine rock tunes both mellow and up-tempo. He even produced his own album and got some help from musicians who played the guitar, saxophone, flute and violin. Low Fare Flight To The Earth is probably the so-called commercial album John Mitchell never made. However, itís not the kind of music I usually listen to in my living room. I hope Paolo Baltaro will use his talents next time for a real progressive rock album. Paolo (Arcansiel), ProgFarm 2005
(picture by Arthur Haggenburg)
 **+ Henri Strik (edited by Peter Willemsen)

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