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Roberta De Francia – Kaleidoscope Stars

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Fusing jazz, folk, and funk with a real sense of fun, London based Italian singer songwriter Roberta De Francia’s Kaleidoscope Stars is a spunky collection of spiralling tunes to bring some sunshine into your day.

‘Get Up And Go’ kicks the album off in a suitably upbeat fashion, and comes into its own when the chorus kicks in. De Francia’s voice feels too far back in the mix on the verses, but her performance on the chorus really shines, benefiting from double tracking and harmonies, with some notes that really sparkle. Heading in a softer direction, ‘Tonight’ is a romantic, moonlit track with a characterful bass-line and Roberta De Francia’s vocal giving a nod to The Sundays’ Harriet Wheeler. ‘You’re Not Alone’ features a powerful sax intro and uses funky rhodes to good effect, with an adventurous vocal that scales great heights and reaches its goal each time.

Roberta De Francia’s voice is engaging – unique enough to stand out from the crowd, while able to fit comfortably into a specific jazz-funk setting without feeling contrived or forced. Musically, the album covers a lot of bases, incorporating elements of jazz, funk, folk, and even world music. ‘Camera, (Lipstick), Action!’ shows the world music aspect well, with an eastern european vibe that slips a reggae groove in through the backdoor. Possibly the most touching moment on Kaleidoscope Stars is the beautifully fragile ‘Broken Sphere’, where De Francia’s voice betrays more of her native accent, adding texture and colour to a track that ultimately explodes into a firework display of musical celebration.

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