Francesco Marras – Black sheep

francesco marras - black sheepFrancesco Marras is the guitarist for the bands Screaming Shadows and Black demons as well as being a session musician.  The album was recorded at the Screaming Shadows studio in Sardinia.

Once again a guitarist has released a solo album – and as always it’s an instrumental album.  I really cannot understand the sense in doing this – instrumentals simply aren’t as commercially successful as albums with vocals, so right from the beginning the album is going to struggle, but we regularly see guitarists releasing albums that are just instrumentals – it’s almost as if they’re scared that their talent won’t shine through if there are vocals to compete with, but I don’t agree with that.  Yngwie Malmsteen and Slash – two great guitarists both make sure their albums have vocals, and in my view that’s the way to go.  Why are vocals so important?  Well think of all the instrumental tracks you know – 99% of people can probably count them on the finger of one hand, yet can name lots of songs that use vocals.  Therein lies the problem with instrumental albums – they just aren’t memorable enough as the lyrics are one of the key bits that help people remember a song.  Strangely I can’t think of a single solo album from a bassist or drummer that’s instrumental – it’s only guitarists that release instrumental albums.

As you’d expect, the guitar work is excellent and takes centre stage.  There’s a wide variety of sounds and it is a pleasant enough album to listen to, but I did find it pretty unmemorable sadly.  With vocals this could have been a great album, but their absence means it’s an album that will appeal primarily to other guitar players.

Rating: 6/10

“Black sheep” is out now.

Track listing:

1. Black sheep
2. Hope for tomorrow
3. Here to stay
4. Straight victory
5. The joker
6. Elvis
7. We are one
8. Miriam
9. Too hard to say goodbye
10. Running round in circles
11. Sardinia

About Ant May

I spend half my life at gigs or festivals and the other half writing the reviews and editing photos, and somehow find time for a full time job too. Who needs sleep - I've got coffee.
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