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Friday 23 February 2024

Mark & The Clouds - Machines Can't Hear You


A Marco Magnani album is always something to look forward to and the fourth Mark & The Clouds album doesn't disappoint. The man will always be a master at Psych Pop, but just as on the previous album, Waves (IDHAS Review here), he is not afraid in venturing further afield.

There is even more roads taken here, indeed the magnificent Graves For You And Me is pure Jangle Pop. Swearing At The Moon is another surprise. mid 60s UK Beat that isn't a million miles away from Merseybeat and the genre is nailed.

Heart At The Speed Of Sound is great Cotton Mather like Psych Pop, but like that band, Magnani gets pretty close to Power Pop. There is enough here to suggest that a new career in Pop Rock might be in order, but the album is no way about that.

Two Minds In My Head could be Lindisfarne, The World Is Falling is Getting It Together In The Country Classic Rock and In The Blink Of An Eye is akin to Prog Folk with a wonderful acoustic guitar slant. Underground is wonderful Folk with a mesmerising melancholic Baroque arrangement.

Special mention has to go to three other songs, The splendid Swinging Sixties Brass arrangement and weeping Guitar on Soul Of Nature. The more straight ahead altogether now arrangement on The World Id Falling which shows how refreshing Classic Rock can be, it's not all about old men thinking the are on the us West Coast. Finally there is the epic 11 minutes of The Age Of Clowns which is an absolute Prog masterpiece. 

Magnani suits the Trio format and there are lots of guests to embellish the material further. The Guitar strength is a given, but more applause should be given to the vocals, a weakness too often in this type of material. I can also not think of a better match than Mark & The Clouds and Ian Button's top notch Gare Du Nord label.

You can listen to and buy the album here.


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