The Cinelli Brothers – “Almost Exactly” Album Review: A Fresh Take on Blues with Soulful Roots Rock

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Release Date: May 3, 2024 Label: CD and LP

Review By Glen Parkes

The Cinelli Brothers have made a name for themselves in the European blues scene, and their latest release, “Almost Exactly,” solidifies their position as a band to watch. With a blend of retro, jump, swing, soul, and a hint of rock’n roll, this album marks a significant evolution in their sound. Teaming up with acclaimed drummer and producer Rich Pagano, The Cinelli Brothers have crafted a record that feels both fresh and timeless.

Track-by-Track Review:

  1. Last Throw Of The Dice (4:08) The album opens with “Last Throw Of The Dice,” a track that immediately showcases the band’s dynamic range. With its catchy hooks and bluesy undertones, the song sets the stage for what’s to come. Marco Cinelli’s guitar work is sharp and precise, while the rhythm section provides a solid foundation.
  2. Leave It With You (3:59) “Leave It With You” brings a soulful vibe, with rich harmonies and a groove that’s impossible to resist. The song’s arrangement highlights Marco’s evolving keyboard skills, adding depth and texture to the band’s sound. It’s a perfect blend of blues and soul, with a touch of rock.
  3. Dozen Roses (2:57) This shorter track is a burst of energy, with a playful melody and upbeat tempo. “Dozen Roses” captures the essence of 60s and 70s Southern Soul, complete with a catchy chorus that sticks with you. It’s a feel-good song that adds a bright spot to the album.
  4. Ain’t Blue But I Sigh (5:25) Slowing things down, “Ain’t Blue But I Sigh” is a soulful ballad that showcases the band’s emotional depth. Marco’s vocals are heartfelt and poignant, supported by a lush arrangement that includes Hammond organ and subtle guitar lines. This track stands out for its introspective lyrics and soulful delivery.
  5. Nobody’s Fool (3:45) “Nobody’s Fool” brings back the blues with a swagger. The track’s gritty guitar riffs and driving beat make it a standout, while the lyrics speak to resilience and self-assurance. It’s a powerful anthem that’s sure to resonate with listeners.
  6. Prayer (4:47) This song is a spiritual journey, blending blues and gospel influences. “Prayer” features rich vocal harmonies and a powerful, uplifting chorus. The song’s arrangement is both grand and intimate, reflecting the band’s versatility and depth.
  7. Lucky Star (4:41) “Lucky Star” is a roots rock gem, with a melodic guitar riff and driving rhythm. The song’s optimistic lyrics and upbeat tempo make it a highlight of the album. Marco’s guitar solo is particularly memorable, showcasing his technical skill and emotional expression.
  8. Making It Through The Night (6:13) The longest track on the album, “Making It Through The Night” is a bluesy epic that takes its time to build and unfold. The song’s slow burn and soulful delivery create a powerful atmosphere, with each band member contributing to its rich texture. The extended instrumental sections allow for improvisation and showcase the band’s musicianship.
  9. Don’t Need No Favor (3:34) Returning to a more straightforward blues-rock sound, “Don’t Need No Favor” is a gritty, no-nonsense track. The song’s raw energy and straightforward lyrics make it an instant classic, with a driving beat and infectious guitar riff.
  10. Fool’s Paradise Closing the album is “Fool’s Paradise,” a reflective track that blends blues, soul, and rock elements. The song’s poignant lyrics and mellow arrangement provide a fitting conclusion to the album, leaving listeners with a sense of introspection and satisfaction.

Final Thoughts: “Almost Exactly” is a triumphant release for The Cinelli Brothers, showcasing their growth as musicians and their ability to blend various influences into a cohesive and compelling sound. With Rich Pagano’s production expertise, the album captures a fresh, dynamic energy that breathes new life into the blues genre. Each track is a testament to the band’s talent and creativity, making “Almost Exactly” a must-listen for fans of blues, soul, and roots rock.


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