Tuesday, December 29, 2015

IL QUINTO-Facing A Miracle (2011)

ORIGINAL POSTING DATE: December 29, 2015

My fourth after-Christmas present to myself (sounds like I've been singing an alternate version of "The Twelve Days Of Christmas" with the way I keep starting off the reviews to my last four posts, doesn't it?) sees me returning both to South Africa and to the realm of operatic/crossover pop music. There's the renowned multi-national quartet that calls itself IL DIVO, and then there's this South African vocal troupe that calls itself IL QUINTO. I'm thinking the 'quinto' signifies the number 'five', and in my past bit of exploration of this group, I believe IL QUINTO originally consisted of five members. Not sure if I had been on one of my boyband binges or if I had been in a classical music mood the day I got acquainted with these guys, but it was hearing their song entitled "Why Wait For Love" that attracted me to them. Which is kinda ironic, I suppose, as that particular song is straight up mainstream pop, yet at the time I heard it, I had no idea that classical operatic pop was their predominant sound. Or perhaps it's better to say that they perform music in a mixture of various genres, as I would find out from treating myself to two listens of their marvelous "Facing A Miracle" album. And the biggest proof of that would be the wonderful title track, which features the amazing sultry voice of pop diva Taylor Dayne. In fact, the lady who had a smash hit with "Tell It To My Heart" back in 1987 is the one credited as the primary singer of this song with the IL QUINTO guys serving as backup vocalists. Either way, it's so great hearing both artists on this inspirational, uplifting and motivational song that I read was the theme for the 2010 Gay Games held in Cologne, Germany—an Olympic-sized, majestic performance indeed. Of course, once I realized that the song had been remixed more than a half-dozen times beyond its already dancey original recording, I had to have all of its remixes! Hence the eight bonus tracks that I've included with this package, of which the supreme dance lovers will surely be passionate about the 'SoundFactory' and 'Kinky Roland' mixes that play between six up to a whopping nine minutes long! But while Taylor takes center stage on every incarnation of that heavenly song, it's the IL QUINTO guys taking the spotlight on this album's first thirteen tracks.....well, most of them anyway. They do share some of that spotlight again with a talented singer named Paul Potts on the powerfully passionate "Ti Amo" (are they all singing in Italian?) and on the classy swing tune, "Without You" (this one's got a cheerful holiday feel), then with a second guest female vocalist named Hannah Holgersson on the dramatic, theatrical piece that is "Look At The Stars". Everywhere else, it's strictly the IL QUINTO show, their unified voices being the highlight of every one of them. It's such a joy hearing them on warming pieces such as "The Arms That Take Me Home" (I like the tribal, ethnic groove that slides in during the waning movements) the sunny ballad "After All (It's A Beautiful World)" (the mainstream pop/rock arrangement with the accompanying orchestrals is a production masterpiece) and the romantically touching "For You I Will" (some of the best lyrics are found right here on this one). "Vincero" is a musically epic adventure all in itself, beginning with the supreme overtures before it explodes into a surprising fast-tempo dance beat with the even more surprising soaring operatic, solo high tenor bringing down the house with his stunning delivery of the lyrics (sounds Italian to me again, but I can't be sure?). An epic adventure I experienced with these guys also on "When I'm In Your Arms", their combined mighty voices getting mightier and mightier as the song goes on and the background music intensifies. And as for"Sei Tu, Tu Sei"—well, the mighty, elegant vocals of the guy leading this one solo just blows me away, even if I don't understand a word of it! So three rounds I've had with this album in less than twenty-four hours, yet three is not the charm this time around, as I feel a fourth and fifth round are needed in order for me to completely satisfy my IL QUINTO fix:

1. Where Does Love Go?
2. The Arms That Take Me Home
3. After All (It's A Beautiful World)
4. Angel Of The Night
5. Ti Amo [Feat. Paul Potts]
6. For You I Will
7. Without You [Feat. Paul Potts]
8. My Love
9. When I'm In Your Arms
10. Hurricane [Accapella Version]
11. Look At The Stars [Feat. Hannah Holgersson]
12. Sei Tu, Tu Sei
13. Vincero
14. Facing A Miracle [Feat. Taylor Dayne]

*****BONUS TRACKS*****

15. Facing A Miracle [Feat. Taylor Dayne] [Kinky Roland's 'Cained But Abled' Remix]
16. Facing A Miracle [Feat. Taylor Dayne] [Kinky Roland's Dreamcoat Dub]
17. Facing A Miracle [Feat. Taylor Dayne] [Radio Version]
18. Facing A Miracle [Feat. Taylor Dayne] [Soundfactory Radio Edit]
19. Facing A Miracle [Feat. Taylor Dayne] [Pop-Up Symphonic Anthem]
20. Facing A Miracle [Feat. Taylor Dayne] [Electro Groove African Anthem]
21. Facing A Miracle [Feat. Taylor Dayne] [Soundfactory Paradise Anthem]
22. Facing A Miracle [Feat. Taylor Dayne] [Soundfactory Reconstruction Dub]

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