Jacopo Galli - Timedrops
Progressive Rock
8 songs (59'41)
Release year: 2003
Jacopo Galli
Reviewed by Marty
This one sat around for quite a while and being one of the few reviewers who are really into progressive rock, I offered to review this one. This release by Jacopo Galli is a debut album for him. Not only did he write, record and produce it himself, he played every instrument and even did the vocals. All this was done largely at his home with the use of home-recording software for the PC. The result is an interesting journey into the world of progressive rock with some metal elements such as heavy guitar passages and some speedy drumming. He really conjures up some old ghosts of the 70's past with some of the sounds and arrangements sounding like segments from older classic Yes and Genesis albums. All this, combined with a style and sound of such bands as Fates Warning, Dream Theater and Queensryche, produces some solid results.

The Genesis influence can be heard right from the intro to the opening track, Answer Me. Great piano and guitar arpeggios along with some strong and passionate lead guitar really bring the Selling England By The Pound era of the band to mind. Heavy guitar riffs are mixed in throughout and often come as abrupt changes mid-song. This aspect gives the songs a great sense of drama and the impact of the sudden heavy guitar is much stronger and more appreciated than if the whole album was chocked full of heavy riffs. A few songs feature some great Queen style guitar "orchestrations" whereby multi-tracked guitar parts playing separate harmonies all combine to produce a great orchestrated effect. Brian May (Queen) first brought this element to rock music in the early mid 70's and it's great to hear the legacy continuing. The track Timeless Reality begins with some cool long delay effects on his guitar which actually allow you to play only half of the notes, with the other half coming in from the delay. Timing is ever so critical in doing this technique and he pulls it off perfectly. Some Steve Howe (Yes) style pedal steel guitar sounds are also found on this track. Another track, Hope, begins with a quiet piano and voice but slowly builds and gets heavier. Tracks on this album that start quietly, certainly don't finish that way. Most build and become heavier and are highlighted by some fast and expressive lead guitar. Another album highlight is the instrumental track, Keys To Imagination. Originally recorded by Yanni (Yikes!!), Jacopo gives it his "special" treatment and it comes off as sounding rich and orchestrated and like something from the Wind And Wuthering era of Genesis. A great dramatic song with some great soaring lead guitar. The album wraps up with the title track, Timedrops, a 5 part opus that clocks in at over 12 minutes. This song has it all, quiet, softer passages, heavier parts alternating with quiter segments and lots of instrumental interludes.

I'm not really that stuck on Jacopo's vocals on this album. I like the vocal melodies, but his voice sounds strained and really lacks the power that a good vocalist needs. The drum sound is very thin as well and is especially evident with some of the double bass segments which come off sounding rather box-like (if you know what I mean).

The creation of this album from the ground up (i.e. from concept to finished product) must have been a monumental undertaking. I'm really impressed with the arrangements and the overall atmosphere of the album. There's a few tracks that just didn't keep my interest but all in all, a decent effort and one that is worth checking out if you're a serious progressive rock fan. Fans of metal and progressive metal may find this album a bit "light" sounding but there's still some great heavy riffs to satisfy.

This album really comes off as sounding like a demo or an unfinished product and every time I listened to this CD, I kept picturing in my mind how this album would sound with a proper studio production and with a great vocalist with a good range. I think the results would be stunning. Great job for a one-man show.....let's see if the labels take notice and see the potential that this guy has.

Killing Songs :
Timeless Reality, Hope, Keys To Imagination and Timedrops
Marty quoted 72 / 100
Jeff quoted 75 / 100
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