Out of the blue suddenly came DeRosso's album "Ossimoro", a guitar rock album (and I mean "guitar rock" in the way it ought to be used, not to describe the stuff produced by grunge bands or Deus or something). I love such surprises...

DeRosso is basically Italian guitar player Alex de Rosso's band, comprised of fellow italians with the exception of singer Adam Cook who gives the album an American vocal sound (including the odd "yeah", and even "yeah, yeah"...). Alex de Rosso was previously known from Dark Lord and S.R.B.

"Ossimoro", a title that is beyond me to understand let alone to explain, is a classical example of what a guitar rock album should be. The song order also builds up beautifully. It starts with four OK tracks with good vocal performances and impeccable guitar work that otherwise don't manage to impress overly. However, after that the mood is set by a most excellent rendition of the Hendrix classic "Little Wing", at a par with both the original and the later interpretation by Stevie Ray Vaughn. Some might consider it close to sacrilige but, as the bio claims, De Rosso gets away with it. Just like the other versions, it works up to a stunning climax.

"Little Wing" seems to form the boundary between the "OK" and "beyond merely OK" tracks. "After Cold Rain", "Isolation with my Sky" and "Tell me Why" are good vocal tracks, and the second half of the album also contains two rather yummilicious instrumentals, "Double Doubt" (pretty heavy with cool drumming) and "Wishes" (acoustic). There's also a ballad type track entitled "'Til I Know" - not for me, but with good and excellently fitting guitar solo work obviously.

Concluding, it must be said that "Ossimoro" is a mature, well balanced album with excellent instrumentalists and a vocalist to match. Alex de Rosso has additionally provided the album with an absolutely ace sound. I arrogantly thought I'd heard most good guitar players out there, but I loved to be proven wrong.



Written March 2001


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