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Carrossel CD Cover
Image © 2002 Rock Symphony (Brazil)

Image © 2002 Rock Symphony (Brazil)

(18 May 2002) The second album from Projeto Caleidoscopio is a fourteen-track collection of gentler progressive rock material entitled Carrossel (Rock Symphony (Brazil) RSLN 069, 2002). Fronted by Analu Paredes and Arthur Nogueira, the band's debut album O Sete (review) drew critical acclaim from printed and network media. Performers are listed on the band's website. Click on the album cover to point your browser there.

Analu wrote, "Although the distance keeps us apart, the music brings us together." We are delighted to present a review of the group's second album here. Arrangements throughout are very Renaissance and Analu has a stunning voice, similar to Annie Haslam, especially in her vocalise passages, which she uses extensively.

Projeto Caleidoscopios material is best characterised as orchestral and light progressive; an occasional guitar riff or keyboard excursion reminds the listener where the writers' roots are. The music is strong vocally with harmony layers often underscoring Analu's stunning lead. The compact disc is accompanied by a well produced booklet with lovely photographs of the various artists involved. An insert for the group's English speaking audience is also provided.

The album opens with Analu's soaring and sensually sung vocal in the richly arranged ballad "Pescador de Ilusões." One will immediately gravitate to the stunning heartfelt layered vocalise and rich guitar- and keyboard-laced accompaniment. "Nuvens" is a mid-tempo and gentle rocker with acoustic guitar and keyboard perfectly accompanying Analu's lead vocal. Arthur's guitar solos and vocals add a lovely contrast to the number.

"Now Is The Time" is a mid-tempo piece, performed very much in the Renaissance style with gentle guitar and keyboard providing a lovely accompaniment. A Jon Camp-style bass line and the lustre of Analu's vocalise contribute to the texture. Accompanied by acoustic guitar, the tender lead vocal in "The Sea" contributes to the lovely ballad texture. Richer synth and piano passages with additional vocalise and mixed backing harmonies add to the progressive feel of the track.

"A Cigana e o Mar" is an enjoyably lush jazz-oriented number with keyboards and flute dominating the instrumental arrangements behind Analu's crystalline vocal. "De Volta Ao Céu" is similarly jazzy with keyboard effects driving the sound as is "Sete Véus" with tenor sax producing the effect. These tunes are contrasted by the gently sweeping new age textures of the brief "O Mar" where Arthur's vocalise joins Analu's to produce a lovely effect. The title track "Carrossel" that follows is a gentle ballad driven by Analu's stunning voice with lots of vocalise and instrumentals dominated by piano and well-arranged strings.

Another light ballad, "Sonhador" is dominated by classically oriented string arrangements complimented by acoustic guitar. Chiquuinho Chagas' accordion parts add a Latin American--if not French--texture to the number. The sharing of vocals between Analu and Arthur works quite well. "Ladybug" is a more upbeat, dramatic and gently rocking number with lush vocal layers punctuated by crisp percussion and underscored by lush keyboard arrangements.

Lush keyboards in the progressive ballad "Fonte" compliment Arthur's (lead) and Analu's (backing) vocal. Very memorable, instantly hooking--almost Eurovision in style--the melody is certain to have wide appeal. Arthur's guitar solo and the vocal conclusion to the song are certain standouts. The album concludes with the epic track "Origami" which begins in a ballad style with Analu's crystalline vocal soaring above a lovely piano melody. The middle section of the track makes the massive mood swings of progressive rock musicians and features incredible vocalise and instrumental solos--guitar, keyboard and bass primarily--and serves to illustrate the versatility and virtuousity of the individual artists.

While Carrossel may be a little more difficult to obtain than other albums reviewed here, online progressive rock distributors (e.g., Rock Symphony) should be able to secure a copy for you. The band's website (click on album cover) and label's (click on label's name) provide pointer for the interested listener. Certainly worth a trans-Atlantic journey, Carrossel is a must listen!

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