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Firmo - 'Rehab' http://mail.rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/d1/47/64/firmo-rehab-40-1558292043.jpg Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     May 19, 2019    
 
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Just too middle-of-the-road overall to be really recommended.

Some of you may possibly remember Gianluca Firmo from the Room Experience limited release in 2015 (with David Readman). Fast forward three years and he's set to unveil his first album under his own name. Backed by many, mainly Italian musicians (and Paul Laine on one track), 'Rehab' is an unashamed AOR experience, but is it a worthy one?

Gianluca Firmo certainly gets off to a good start with 'A Place For Judgement' bouncing out of the speakers very nicely. However, it's immediately apparent that his vocals are no better than average, and whilst he can serve the tune well, he isn't going to win any awards. That being said, it remains the album's high-point and does a good job of getting you in the mood for more.

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'Heart Of Stone' follows and it's more of a Country Rock song which unfortunately means it's nothing more than a middle-of-the-road track. Next up is the emotional ballad 'Shadows And Lights', a song that's nice enough in a Bon Jovi sort of way, and this is then followed by another unexciting mid-pacer in 'Maybe Forever'.

It might just be me, but since the opener, this album gets decidedly mediocre. The thing is it actually continues in this vein of an upbeat track, a Country song, a ballad, etc., with my excitement from the upbeat numbers being whittled away by the more average fayre. Although the slower tracks aren't bad, they aren't anything special either.
Gianluca Firmo can be congratulated for finally coming out under his own name, but 'Rehab' isn't an album that will cause too many ripples throughout the AOR world. It's competent, with several good songs and several average ones, but it's just too middle-of-the-road overall to really recommend, especially when there are much better releases out there.

Alan Holloway

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