Review Maxi Trusso – Love Gone

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This is the sound of an artist trying to find his sound, for while many parts of this album work there is an over-abundance of ideas and this sometimes gets in the way of some very good songs. Trusso has an almighty croon, evoking Johnny Cash on “Upset” and “Fiesta” but mainly with the quavering power of Roy Orbison, albeit with a slight English twang (a touch of Spike Milligan perhaps.) This voice, when united with these songs, which mainly exist in the world of British new wave and electro from the 80s, make for an interesting union, none more apparent than on the opening track “Upset” which sounds like Johnny Cash leading Depeche Mode on a cover of Abba.

Within this framework of electro, new wave and crooning, there are some very good pop songs, but it’s the vitality and experimentation throughout that give the album it’s energy. This is especially true on some of the slower songs, such as “Ahead,” a deathly, echoing beat with Dave Gahan-style echoing vocals that alternate with a pathos-laden acoustic guitar-spiked narrative, before woodwind and female vocals see the song while away. “Lost in my Mind” starts with a doo-wop hook that could just as easily be a complete Laurie Anderson song, then heads off into an upbeat melody that deserves its comparisons to Roy Orbison. “Born in the Air” is a beautiful, slow-burning tale of keeping spirits high with a great wonky string section and use of harmonies.

What makes many of these songs so interesting are the arrangements which are always playful. Unfortunately on some of the faster songs, such as “Upset” and “Fiesta” they come across as being a little over-wrought and in your face. This may not be a problem for some but to listen to these ideas develop is one of the highlights of this album and when there is too much going on this is sometimes hard to achieve.

The other gripe with the album is the use of unnecessary outros. Many of the songs have an extra 30 seconds of sound at the end, supposedly some of the ideas that didn’t make the cut. In the main part these are superfluous, bringing very little to the record.

It’s an album which has many highpoints but is let down by a few of the decisions. Some more subtlety in the upbeat pop songs, and a more refined tracklisting would improve this album greatly. Tracks like “All Those Mornings” and “Lost in my Mind” certainly deserve attention, offering an interesting point where American troubadours could be fronting British new wave bands. It’s a genuinely intriguing concept and one that hopefully Trusso will stick with it and refine into something that will deserve huge accolades.

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