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BWW CD Review: Anthony Nunziata's THE LOVE ALBUM Delivers All The Feelings

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BWW CD Review: Anthony Nunziata's THE LOVE ALBUM Delivers All The Feelings

It was Valentine's Day when Anthony Nunziata released The Love Album, which seems appropriate, but it need not be the holiday of romance to play the CD, one that can, easily, be enjoyed any day of the year. The Love Album doesn't require date night, champagne, or roses to be found in the CD player, on the iTunes library, or from the Echo Dot. The Love Album is a pleasant, easy listening CD of pretty music designed to keep a person company when they are relaxing after work, cooking dinner on a Saturday evening, napping on a Sunday afternoon, or driving around town. It is a pleasure to listen to, from start to finish, with a variety of moods meticulously created by Nunziata and co. through the studied organization of the setlist and arrangement of the melodies - a craft that seems, these days, to be missing from some albums that could be better designed to take the listener on a musical journey.

Starting the album out with the song "Feeling Good," Nunziata makes the wise choice of having Tedd Firth create a new arrangement for him, rather than follow the scores of singers who croon the one made famous by Nina Simone and, more recently, Michael Buble - a great arrangement but one that has grown tiresome, due to the number of artists who are either too unwilling or unimaginative to sing the song their own way. Thanks to Misters Nunziata and Firth, listeners will enjoy the treat of a new story - not just with this number but with many of the well-known tunes on The Love Album, especially a skillfully mashed-up "I Can't Help Falling In Love With You/Unchained Melody." Even when approaching standards like "The Very Thought of You" or "When I Fall In Love," though Firth and Nunziata may take a more traditional approach to the song at large, there is still the allowance for surprises that come from Firth's piano solos or the addition of sophisticated drum arrangements to turn a tender ballad into equal parts loving and longing. This is a well-thought-out CD that has been put together like a nightclub act - the only thing missing is the applause between the numbers.

At first blush, one might be afraid that an entire album of love songs might become a bit twee, possibly even treacly, but Nunziata and co. have avoided this by keeping the CD authentic to the Nunziata brand - adult, contemporary, and kind - this is not a collection of romantic love songs, necessarily. They could be, most certainly, but it is entirely within the scope of Nunziata's artistic mission statement that when he is singing these songs, he is singing of the love he has for a best friend, a sibling, a parent, even his fans. It is even possible that Anthony is singing about the love he has for the song itself, for the songwriter who created the tune, for the human race, for the love of love itself. The Firth/Nunziata arrangement, for instance, of "Can't Take My Eyes off of You" embodies so bright, modern, and gleeful a mood that the experience of listening to it reminded this writer of the first time he held his grandson, with glorious scales of saxophone acting as the musical interpretation of the sun. "I Found A Home" is a song possessing of a lovely, gently rolling melody, and poetic lyrics that definitely illuminate an important friendship, not necessarily a love affair. This song is one of the major selling points of the CD, not surprising, as it is one of the four songs on The Love Album that were written by Mr. Nunziata, who has chosen his writing partners wisely because those four numbers are the standouts on the CD, all of them a complete joy to listen to, filled with musicality, poetry, emotion, and honesty, to say nothing of the original ambiance that will come to be known as Anthony Nunziata's Signature Sound. The standards that Nunziata covers on the record are all carefully curated, beautifully sung, and inventively arranged by Mr. Firth and Eugene Gwozdz, who is given credit for additional arrangements. It is a pleasure to hear the work of artists not willing to simply take the charts created by the musicians who came before and perform them, but who have a desire to create something new for the people spending money on their music. That being said, after this CD of lush, full orchestrations for several instruments, it would be interesting if Mr. Nunziata's next outing was The Sex Album, featuring he and a lone guitar performing songs to get you in the mood.

As for Mr. Nunziata's vocals, there is a reason the gentleman is so popular on the concert circuit: he has one of the prettiest voices on the scene. Even before his interpretive style enters the picture, this is a creamy, dreamy voice of a singer who feels things so deeply that every word, every phrase, every emotion he wishes to communicate becomes as big as the room, until the listener is swept away in the moment. Nunziata knows exactly when to sing the notes the composer wrote, and when the flow of the story requires just a little variety to elevate the mood, even if only for a moment, and just when you think it can't get any better, he pulls out an unexpected high tenor... just because he can. The Love Album is so lovely a debut solo CD that it will leave Nunziata fans ready for the next one, and people can bank on the notion that whatever that CD is, Anthony Nunziata will be looking for an original idea and sound.

It's the Nunziata way.

The Love Album is on the Nunztunes label and is available on iTunes and Amazon and at the Anthony Nunziata WEBSITE

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From This Author Stephen Mosher