Pop-rock doesn't necessarily have to rock to be effective. There are some pop-rock artists who would rather float, which is what Italian guitarist/keyboardist Giancarlo Erra's group Nosound usually does on A Sense of Loss. This 2009 release is best described as a mixture of alternative pop-rock, art rock and progressive rock, with a strong ambient electronica influence. Moody, atmospheric items such as "Tender Claim," "Constant Contrast," "Some Warmth Into This Chill" and "My Apology" underscore Nosound's desire to float rather than rock, and that approach yields appealing and very listenable results. No one will accuse A Sense of Loss of being the happiest release of 2009; a dark, brooding, melancholy outlook prevails throughout the album. Of course, Italy has given us a lot of happy music over the years--happy romantic crooners from Napoli, happy dance-pop and house music from Milano and Roma--but the word "happy" never applies on A Sense of Loss. Even the title itself lets you know that feel-good escapism is not on Nosound's menu. But musically, Erra finds a lot of beauty in his melancholia, drawing on influences that include Pink Floyd, Brian Eno (a seminal figure in the development of ambient electronica), Tangerine Dream, Porcupine Tree and Orchestral Maneuvers in the Dark (OMD). And for those who realize that music doesn't have to push the smile button in order to be worthwhile, it is obvious that Erra and his colleagues have a lot going for them--not only a highly attractive sound, but also, a talent for craftsmanship. Nosound's darker emotions serve them consistently well on A Sense of Loss.
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AllMusic Review by Alex Henderson
Track Listing - Disc 1
Track Listing - Disc 2