Luca D’Alberto ~ Endless

Endless shatters all records for early announcements, as the first promotions were made 16 December, exactly six months prior to release.  The gorgeous “Wait for Me” video was the opening salvo, the title ironic as the wait has at times seemed endless.

This winter, a video for the title track emerged, along with a third streaming song.  Finally the rollout is complete, and we can take a step back to look at the big picture.

The album’s official selling point is that D’Alberto plays all of his own instruments.  This fact is impressive, but would mean nothing if he didn’t have the talent for the tunes.  Endless offers nine catchy, piano-led pieces, ripe for crossover; it’s the sort of album that could catch on with a larger audience.  Our selling point is different: we consider this an album for romantics, marked by pure themes, memorable melodies and an uplifting tone.  The interplay between piano and strings is especially strong, as highlighted in the call and response of “Wait for Me” and the dynamic contrast of “Yellow Moon”.

D’Alberto’s background in film scoring shines through, as each of these pieces would work well in cinema.  We prefer hearing them separately for now, so that we can concentrate on the composition.  The head of !K7 was so impressed that he founded a new label, 7K!, for the sole purpose of showcasing modern composition.  These pieces are not complex, but they are contagious, built on repeating phrases that pop out for a drink then return like old friends.  The DJ production of Henrik Schwarz is occasionally discernible, especially on the title track, which momentarily plays with beats before leaving them at the altar.

D’Alberto’s greatest talent is his ability to compose concise concertos.  Many instruments are played, but the compact nature of these tracks allows him to use some sparingly without hurting anyone’s feelings ~ the advantage of playing everything himself.  “Start Again” is the album’s most compelling piece, locked in the center.  Just as one believes the piece has investigated all of its neighboring alleys, it veers off into a deeper, more resonant direction.  The ensuing piece, “Her Dreams”, is the album’s softest, allowing the listener pause for reflection.  Our only criticism is an over-reliance on three-note motifs (“My Way”), an effective technique only in moderation.  But as the final tracks descend into quiet oblivion, all is forgiven; the tempo drops, revealing an unexpected poignancy.  (Richard Allen)

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