Dragon of Love (CD)
This is a real treat: It’s a debut album from a band that is busy establishing itself in Sweden and Scandinavia, but there’s not a moment among the album’s 13 tracks that suggests this is work in progress. This band is ready. Marino Valle brings a big, masterful, soul man’s voice and a broad stylistic range to the proceedings. The band is fluent and agile in the works of early rock ‘n’ rollers, soul balladeers and vintage blues artists. Catch the occasional Caribbean vibe, as well. The album features seven Valle originals and six diverse cover songs. Collectively, the tracks share two common threads: (1) a relentlessly romantic, man-needs-his-woman lyrical focus and (2) an unswerving danceability. Marino Valle Band has shaped this ambitious, varied set of songs into an entirely coherent collection.
“The beautiful harmonies in doo-wop and gospel and the roughness and directness in blues attract me,” Valle says. “But I'm also crazy about old school rhythm ‘n’ blues and soul, and so are the guys in the band. I have a great time singing and playing this music with my band.” Queue up Dragon of Love, and prepare to share the joy.