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Artist: Roma Amor

CD: "Occhi Neri"


This is no vaudeville to Roma Amor's cabaret; where other similar acts are keen to play-up the theatrics of the Weimar era, Roma Amor instead choose to emphasize the beautiful despair that miasmatically surrounded a moment of tragic cultural disintegration. On Occhi Neri, Roma Amor's sound is purposefully stripped down and bare: accordion, piano, folk guitar, throbbing bass, and the exotic rhythm of castanets provide a sonic backdrop that recalls the winding streets and bustling avenues of Old Europa; this is the cabaret music you would expect to hear in downtrodden cafes, in melancholy pubs where the regulars drown their everyday sorrows, and on street corners as threadbare musicians ply their trade because it's the only bulwark they have between themselves and a consuming ennui.

Unlike many other cabaret-inspired acts, there is precious little German influence to be found on Occhi Neri. Roma Amor find more inspiration in Jacques Brel and Italian blood opera than they do Lotte Lenya and the Three-Penny Opera. As such, Roma Amor's music preserves a style that is largely forgotten in the current cabaret revival. Nevertheless, singer Euski Candela's voice is not a finely-tune or pure instrument; rather, her voice flutters between breezy, almost-60s-French-pop chanteusery and a cracking, worn descent into the depths of the abyss. This is exactly as it should be. The music of Roma Amor is not about purity or perfection—it is a sonic iteration of fragility: the fragility of history, the fragility of prosperity, and the fragility of the human spirit.


Roma Amor~

Review by Jack Shear




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