Mello, Andr? - Blue Desert

Year of Release: 2000
Label: Rock Symphony
Catalog Number: RSLN051
Format: CD
Total Time: 54:41:00

Except for the last track, all of the percussion is courtesy an Alesis DM5 drum module, which becomes immediately apparent on the opening track "Glacial Landscape Symphony" with the far too consistent snick-snick of the high-hat. It does add to the feeling of crisp coldness, but employing a live drummer would have added so much more. Now, few of the other tracks actually have any percussion, as it is really all André Mello on keys.

Mello is the keyboardist and main composer with Brazilian progressive rock band Tempus Fugit. I don't know if it's his first solo work, but if so, it is a strong debut.

This all-instrumental album comes close to ranking alongside Jonn Serrie, David Lanz, and other like contemporary instrumental artists. Of course, Serrie and Lanz have been in the business a while and so their compositions have the advantage of experience. With a few more years and albums under his belt, Mello will have no trouble being named in the same breath.

Blue Desert is lush and very symphonic and perfectly suited to its theme of the frozen expanse. As mentioned above, there is a crispness here to the music that evokes the frigid air of some Arctic landscape. Not unlike Michael Thomas Berkeley in that regard, who treated us earlier this year with Arctic. The tracks here take their time exploring a theme without feeling overlong. Oddly though, I half expected the beautiful classical piece "An Ageless Title" to break into a metal-like crunch - perhaps because of the metal bands I've been listening to use this approach. "Nostalgia"'s opening refrain reminded me of Lanz' "Leaves On The Seine" (my favorite of Lanz' compositions). "The Pure Azure Of The Sky" is beautiful, warm with its piano-like tones and choir-like sustained notes. "Seeds Of Life" is the only track that doesn't do it for me - the keys are occasionally shrill and sound off to me.

Tempus Fugit cohort Ary Moura provides the drums on "Dreamland" which closes the album. But the percussion is mere accent, and probably could have easily been replaced by a drum machine. Which is unfortunate, as if you're going to employ a real drummer he ought to have a stronger presence, especially when he's your bandmate helping you out.

However, that aside, Blue Desert is a very nice contemporary instrumental album that will appeal to fans of those named above.

Glacial Landscape Symphony (5:09) / Blue Desert (2:00) / Running On Thin Ice (2:41) / Footpath (1:23) / Footprints In The Snow (2:51) / Icy Wind (3:22) / Labyrinth (2:12) / Regina (2:31) / The Pure Azure Of The Sky (3:32) / An Ageless Title (3:16) / Nostalgia (3:53) / Seeds Of Life (2:16) / Aurora Borealis (5:12) / Portrait From An Iceland (6:35) / Blue Desert 2 (2:55) / Dreamland (4:16)

Andr? Mello - keys and synths
Ary Moura - drums (16)
Marco Aur?h - flute (14)
Paulo R. Souza - electronic percussion (12)

Tempus Fugit - Tales From A Forgotten World
Tempus Fugit - The Dawn After The Storm (1999)
Blue Desert (2000)

Genre: Other

Origin BR

Added: September 1st 2000
Reviewer: Stephanie Sollow
Artist website:
Hits: 1130
Language: english


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