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Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Review: Opera Glasses - Wearing Masks

Opera Glasses - Wearing Masks
2007, Opera Glasses

Damiano Rossetti is the singer, songwriter, guitarist and spiritual leader of Opera Glasses, an Italian quartet carrying an obsession for darkwave music in general and The Cure in particular. Enchanted with the juxtaposition of melancholic lyrics and peppy, pop arrangements, Opera Glasses tries to create a similar vibe in their music. Opera Glasses' debut album, Wearing Masks, finds the band creating their own brand of magically upbeat musical pathos.

Wearing Masks opens with Turn Around, a song that sounds kind of like U2 trying to cover The Cure. Rossetti has this big musical wail of a voice that mostly works (although it does sound like he plays on the edges of the key he's in at times. Rossetti has a straight forward delivery full of a theatrical sense worthy of Bono and sings his heart out on every song. Hysterical Easter incorporates splashes of musical dissonance amidst the upbeat arrangement to create a sonic and cognitive tension that is palpable. The song is highly listenable and of a quality that hard core Smiths and Cure fans will appreciate. Strike Me sounds like it is the long lost child of The Cure's Show Me, with a distinct similarity in the opening chord progression. This bit of tribute is almost too over the top in a song that's so strikingly similar in style. Strike Me is, however, a strong pop song and may be the best on the disc. I'd put this up for airplay any day and I expect it would be quite successful with the right break.

Sweet Cure gets a little too bogged down in its own melancholy/depression, particularly at the end of the song. Pink Pig is refreshing after Sweet Cure, nailing The Cure's aesthetic perfectly. Opera Glasses leaves us with Remember Something, which delves into the more electronic aspects of 1980's Darkwave (then New Wave) Pop. Melancholia seeps into the musical arrangement, but a bright synth keeps the light on in a musical moment that is utterly memorable.

Opera Glasses aren't a Cure cover band, but it's almost as if they are; a tribute band more likely. For all intents and purposes Rossetti and crew channel the energy and style of the Cure circa 1988. Cure fans will love Opera Glasses (unless they hate them for being too like The Cure; always a possibility). Either way, it's good music, with a depressive vibrancy that's hard to achieve. Take a moment and check out Opera Glasses when you have the chance.
Rating: 3 Stars (Out of 5)

You can learn more about Opera Glasses at or You can purchase Wearing Masks as a download through iTunes.

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