Ciro Manna: XY Review

I’ve written a lot of reviews, but I have rarely found a star-studded international production such as XY, the second and new album by Ciro Manna.

Maybe because the album was recorded largely in Los Angeles (in the studies of Simon Phillips) with the great support of the producer Riccardo Cappelli, maybe because Ciro Manna met and played guitar over the years with many guitar stars, the result is a really excellent album, a really high level production. With also Lee Sklar on bass as well as Simon Phillips on drums, plus some super stellar guests: Andy Timmons, Guthrie Govan, Paul Gilbert. Some songs were recorded in Italy alike with a great line-up: Dario Deidda, Marco Gallero, Angelo Abate, Ilaria Palmieri and Patrix Duenas

The album is very rich, 11 tracks long, varied and articulate. Track by track, the atmospheres are very different. The musical knowledge of Manna is truly remarkable. We are listening to a rock records with a lot of fusion, jazz, funk and blues influences. Songs are often catchy, easy to listen, not necessarily “for musician only”. Impressed by the two tracks with vocals, sung very well. I would have wanted to hear other. Remarkable indeed!

The album sounds overall very good, Sklar and Simmons are definitely an important added value in the artistic project of Manna. The Guitar guest stars add their own trademarks to embellish the piece, without overwhelming Manna… that still is extremely difficult because Ciro plays guitar very very well!

X1 in a word ROCK; X2 Manna more lyrical..and then Timmons; X3 very groovy, Fear & Fire first voice beautiful song; Mosaiko Rock the intro-style Holdsworth is truly remarkable; Drivin ‘On back to melodic rock, remembering Toto; Bad Brakes returns to the groove; Secret Potion second track with vocals, remarkable Patrix Duenas..and then comes Govan; XY atmospheres and Ciro really inspired; Wheels on fire a piece made for the arrival of the star Gilbert; Just in Time great piece jazz-fusion very tight, with big guitar tone, a gem to close the work.

X1 in una parola ROCK; X2 il Manna più lirico..e poi Timmons; X3 molto groove; Fear & Fire prima song con voce bellissima, da radio; Mosaiko Rock l’intro in pieno stile Holdsworth è notevole; Drivin’ On pezzone alla Toto, chitarra molto melodica; Bad Brakes si ritorna al groove; Secret Potion seconda traccia con voce, notevolissimo Patrix Duenas..e poi arriva Govan; XY atmosfere e Ciro ispiratissimo; Wheels on fire un pezzone fatto apposta per l’arrivo della star Gilbert; Just in Time gran pezzo jazz-fusion molto tirato, con chitarrone in bella vista, una vera perla a chiudere l’opera.

1. X1 4:15
2. X2 4:53
3. X3 5:03
4. Fear & Fire 5:10
5. Mosaiko Rock 4:39
6. Drivin’ On 4:51
7. Bad Brakes 4:57
8. Secret Potion 4:56
9. XY 5:33
10. Wheels On Fire 4:58
11. Just in Time 5:57

Bass – Dario Deidda (tracks: 11), Leland Sklar (tracks: 1, 2, 3, 5, 7, 10), Marco Gallero (tracks: 4, 6, 8, 9)
Drums – Antonio Muto (tracks: 4, 8, 9, 11), Simon Phillips (tracks: 1, 2, 3, 5, 7, 10)
Guitar – Andy Timmons (tracks: 2), Ciro Manna (tracks: 1-11), Guthrie Govan (tracks: 8), Paul Gilbert (tracks: 10)
Keyboards – Angelo Abate (tracks: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 11)
Vocals – Ilaria Palmieri (tracks: 4), Patrix Duenas (tracks: 8)


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