Album review: ELIANA CARGNELUTTI – Aur

ELIANA CARGNELUTTI - Aur [Release date 07.05.21]

When we saw Eliana at Giants Of Rock in January 2020 we would never have guessed that in the space of a few weeks live music famine would ensue.  She apparently had breezed in last minute but her energetic performance probably made up for at least the first few months of gig starvation.

We described her as Italian exotica, sounding more rocky than on album.  Her latest offering is more Maserati than Ferrari, a bit more refined.

The album is more focused than previously and you could say that it aligns the Italian guitarist more with the likes of Orianthi than, say, a hotter version of Joanne Shaw Taylor.

‘Who Is The Monster’, an early single, is a good example of her balls-out approach and the accompanying video is Italian erotica rather than exotica.  Oh no, we’ve lost you for a few moments…

OK, you’re back, ‘I Don’t Know’ (with a guest appearance by Ana Popovic) even has a Stax-like swing with added brass which reappear on the soulful ‘Love Letters’.

Throughout the album Eliana’s fiery guitar is kept largely under wraps supporting rather than dominating.  It’s all there if she wants to let rip but overall the strength of the songwriting shines through from the catchy cod-reggae and modern auto-tune of ‘Smoke In Your Eyes’ to the powerful ballad  ‘Alone’ and album closer ‘I Swear’.

And when she does let rip – as on ‘I Don’t Know’ and ‘Diablo’s Fire’ – it’s both fluid and engaging.

The pace slackens only occasionally and overall there is an impression that Lockdown has been kind to Eliana and pointed her in the right direction.  ****

Review by David Randall

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