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Articles Home » 2011 Articles » Lionville - 2011 Lionville
Lionville - 2011 Lionville

ARTIST: Lionville
ALBUM: Lionville
LABEL: Avenue Of Allies
SERIAL: 11-11-0030
YEAR: 2011


LINEUP: Stefano Lionetti - lead & backing Vocals, guitars * Lars Säfsund - lead vocals * Alessandro DelVecchio - keyboards, backing vocals * Pierpaolo Monti - drums

Guests: Bruce Gaitsch, Tommy Denander, Eric Martensson, Sven Larsson, Arabella Vitanc, Mario Percudani, Andrea Maddalone, Anna Portalupi, Amos Monti

TRACK LISTING: 01 Here By My Side * 02 With You * 03 Center Of My Universe * 04 Thunder In Your Heart * 05 World Without Your Love * 06 Power Of My Dreams * 07 No End In Sight * 08 The Chosen Ones * 09 Over And Over Again * 10 Dreamhunter * 11 Say Goodbye



Last year, Avenue Of Allies released two fantastic albums which are kind of indirectly related to this groovy new CD from Italian project Lionville. First, there was Pierpaolo Monti's superb Shining Line CD, followed by the Swedish West Coast masterpiece State Cows. I mention the term 'indirectly related', but there are connections all over the place. Firstly, record label Avenue Of Allies who have released some quite astounding CD's over the last two years are connected because Lionville appear on their books. Does Lionville top the lot? I'll leave you to ponder on that one. Secondly, musicians that have featured elsewhere on AoA's releases find themselves queuing up on this one. Then of course there is the Swedish west coast connection, with Work Of Art and Enbound vocalist Lars Säfsund becoming the new Joe Lynn Turner and Jeff Scott Soto as the singer of choice for many new projects. Let's not forget the man with the 'lion in the name' (not mane eh?), Stefano Lionetti who has hooked up with Pierpaolo Monti and Alessandro DelVecchio, who in turn bought Säfsund into the fold. Lionville is not just about these four men, there are guests galore who appear among the 11 tracks on offer.

The Songs
Säfsund's vocals as expected are top drawer throughout, and thankfully he sings for the most part. Lionetti sings on occasion but his accented English isn't a good fit to be honest. There are a bunch of good (no, correct that.. excellent) songs, as evidenced by the superb opener 'Here By My Side', the Work Of Art influenced 'Living With You' and 'Power Of My Dreams' which really is WOA part two, though the duet vocals of Säfsund and Lionetti spoils what could've been the album highlight. 'Centre Of My Universe' is a Toto flavoured piece with shared vocals once again, and it's the same deal once again unfortunately. 'The Chosen Ones' is another uptempo track with some superb musical arrangements but the lead vocal incursion of Alyson Avenue singer Arabella Vitanc isn't as good as the album bio would have you believe. 'Over And Over Again' is a ballad featuring Lionetti on vocals. It has its moments, but it was a hard sell for me as I'm not a fan of his voice at all. 'Dreamhunter' might sound competent musically, but the title and lyrics are kinda silly. 'Say Goodbye' finishes up as an acoustic ballad, on what is mostly a very good record.

In Summary
Lionville has acquired many friends and fans through this album. The material here is cohesive enough between AOR and west coast. It takes on the appearance of an all-stars event where everybody brings their contribution to the table, as a result, the differing flavours makes this sound like a compilation album of pot luck proportions. Perhaps last years Shining Line could've been accused of the same thing, but the songs on that were very strong. For what it's worth, I like this album, but I'm not totally enamoured with it, as I've taken weeks of listening and have only just put pen to paper. That goes to show just how indifferent I feel about it. Others will feel differently, as many did when listening to the new Journey CD. No doubt many opinions will differ to mine, but I put it in the good to very good category and not any more than that I'm afraid.

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#1 | Jez on July 31 2011 12:42:49
Super slick AOR very much in the same vein as Work Of Art, so you know what to expect musically, lots of Toto'isms, with a touch of Journey/ Survivor et all. Great vocalis too in Lars Säfsund and Stefano Lionetti which adds some extra class to an already very very good disc. One of those albums that shows quality AOR is possible and restores my faith in the genre.
#2 | DrakeSinister on August 03 2011 05:14:57
Yeah, I'm finding this album to be quite good (including the duets GDaze seems to have trouble enjoying).

Feels almost like I'm getting my feet wet for the upcoming WoA release coming in a few months. Grin
#3 | jeffrey343 on February 06 2013 01:40:30
While George obviously liked a lot of songs on this album, this review didn't inspire me to spend much effort to track it down. It wasn't on Rhapsody, where I could give it a full listen before deciding whether to buy it. And while I liked that first Work Of Art album well enough, I didn't like it enough at the time to take a chance spending ten bucks to get this one digitally. I've been burned too many times getting something that didn't really move me. But upon falling in love with their new album, I had to give this a chance. Well worth it. If "II" is a ten, this one is pretty darn close to that - much higher IMO than the 8 that George gave it.

One advantage this has over "II" to me, at least as far as making more immediate, is that "Thunder In Your Heart" is a killer anthem. I'm a huge sucker for songs like that. I hadn't heard the John Farnham original before (and it's not as good as this). "Dreamhunter" too is a great anthem, and I don't mind the cheesiness. The vocals are mixed a little higher compared to "II". I don't have the same problems with the songs that George singled out - they all work well for me. 2011 was a very good year, and this really is as good as anything else to my ears.
#4 | george_the_jack on April 03 2017 14:21:42
While I liked this at the time it came out, honestly, that year was so damn good, Lionville couldn't have made my top-10 no matter what they would have released.

This debut seems more like a collection of demos from different eras of a band than a consistent release. You can even hear the production being different as you jump from one track to another.

The best song for me in here by a long mile is ''Here by my side'' while I was not that impressed with the ''Thunder in your heart'' cover as I vastly preferred John Farnham's original as well as Stan Bush's version from a few years ago.
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