Just imagine the feeling: in the midst of this pandemic, including lockdowns, vaccination, no gigs, you just wake up one random morning free of all these things! Can you imagine the surprise? It would be a relief, wouldn’t it? That’s it. That’s the kind of surprise I felt by by the Italian blues rocker Eliana Cargnelutti, and her new album Aur. It’s the fourth full album released by her, including a collaboration released in 2015, Girls With Guitars, with Sadie Johnson and Heather Crosse.
Aur is a journey through the blues rock universe, being decisively more rock than blues, we must say…The album starts with “Chaosnero”, as suggested by the name, a chaotic intro full of synth sounds and guitar noises. That makes the perfect setting to introduce the powerful riffs of “Breath Again”, whose crunched-like vocal effect and strong chorus are crowned with a tasty guitar solo with Whammy effects. “Who Is The Monster” was previously released as a single. It’s another nice song where the bass maintains the harmony, leading the song to a rich chorus. One more time, the guitar and vocal effects make all the difference in the song. “I Don’t Know” welcomes one of her special guests, Ana Popovic. It’s so pleasant how Eliana’s voice connects the song’s parts, giving the perfect intonation by nailing her emotions on it.
Gov’t Mule, who even being a blues rock jam band, usually delight their fans with reggae songs or even entire albums dedicated to the genre. But, in Aur, the reggae climate that Eliana brought with “Smoke In Your Eyes” is one of the good surprises that we mentioned. Aside from the extremely melodic guitar solo of the song, a female vocal definitely is a game-changer in a reggae song. In a row, “Love Letters” is a kind of love ballad where the keys and the tiny guitar lines lead the song to a joyful chorus.
The rock approach is back with “I Won’t Change” and “Diablo’s Fire”, this one with a heavy metal spirit revealed by the guitar riff and solo, leveraged by special guest Eric Steckel. “Alone” has a slow pace, highlighting the transitions and the contrast between the sweet vocals and heavyweight guitar harmony. The last song is “I Swear”, a piano ballad where Eliana shows a perfectly tuned voice, singing over the melody and effortlessly trespassing through the diminished notes.
In Aur, all songs are written by Eliana, who also did the production and arrangements, which we have to mention are flawless. It’s very comforting to see how women are pioneering and conquering their deserved space in blues rock. Aside from names like Danielle Nicole, Joanne Shaw Taylor, Samantha Fish, Shemekia Copeland, Eliana Cargnelutti is also tracking a solid path in the genre. Definitely, Aur is a huge contribution in that sense, where Eliana clearly adds new colors, sounds, and tunes with her music.
The Review: 8.5/10
Can’t Miss Tracks
– Who Is The Monster
– Smoke In Your Eyes
– Love Letters
– I Swear
The Big Hit
– Love Letters