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ONQ

Naso-Nudo

  • AllMusic Rating
    8
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AllMusic Review by

Brief -- seven songs in under half an hour -- but well worth investigating, Naso-Nudo finds ONQ readily turning his gifts for involving, exploratory indie/drone epics into one compelling, strange gem after another. The Built to Spill/Flaming Lips jones that's been evident at various points is clear here, but again isn't overwhelming; it's a development of that approach which finds the Italian achieving his own style of connection. The opening cut, "Laugh but Like a Clown," alone is evidence of his abilities, the central guitar strum/chime carefully surrounded and almost overtaken by a mournful, thick string arrangement. The vocals sound increasingly more lost in the mix, as if he was drowning in the sound. As a track it sets the tone for much of the rest of Naso-Nudo, as songs revolve around central, repeated guitar parts, while strange, dark overdubs from other instruments make each listen all the more unsettled. The instrumental "Naked Half," with its lead coming from what sounds like swirled violin parts, and "Leap Will," starting off with relative calm before a combination of high-pitched squeals (a flute, perhaps?) and nervous, quavering vocals bubbling up, develop the atmosphere excellently. Absolute highlights include "Be Delicate," its chorus at once uplifting and still somehow crushingly sad, the vocals desperately fighting for connection behind the lead guitar's slow, beautiful descent, and "I Quit," with a definite dark, psychedelic shimmer to the semi-sitar-like lead melody, entrancing and seductive. ONQ's vocals barely can be heard here at the start, almost more a suggestion of a voice rather than anything else; his approach to vocal subtlety, which still has an impact, is certainly one of his strongest gifts.

Track Listing

Title/Composer Performer Time
1
ONQ
5:17
2
ONQ
2:56
3
ONQ
3:16
4
ONQ
2:07
5
ONQ
4:19
6
ONQ
6:05
7
ONQ
4:27
blue highlight denotes track pick