Genre/Influences: Electro-pop, symphonic-pop.
Background/Info: The best way to introduce Axel Samano is to read what he has to say: ‘despite the fact I was born somewhere you call a country; I consider myself a trans-human and a global citizen, I do not have country, I do not have religion; I believe in nothing else but in the pure essence of freedom and love, kindness and good actions towards my Universe. – And nothing else.’ This album features two discs; first you have the “Deus Ex Machina”-CD and next the more conceptual “The Storyteller”.
Content: “Deus Ex Machina” is clearly driven by electro-pop music, but it also is much more than that. There’s a clear link with 80s influences and especially some electro effects. The main particularity is the somewhat symphonic-inspired arrangements. The album features 9 songs sung in English and 9 more songs sung in Spanish. The Spanish cuts are more dance-like and less ‘inspired’. The vocals are sometimes a bit whispering-like.
“The Storyteller” is what I would call a conceptual album and, which can be resumed as a transgender committing suicide and who has to face God. The tracks are separated in 5 chapters. Each song is preceded by a narration dealing with the concept. The songs reveal a surprising, but explicit symphonic-pop approach. All lyrics are in English.
+ + + : The least I can say is that Axel Samano deals with a rather unusual and original approach in electro-pop music. The symphonic arrangements are not exactly what you expect by this kind of music. The songs also reflect a real mature writing. I like the 80s effects running through the first disc while the concept of the second disc appears to be a real accomplishment.
– – – : Despite of this artist’s original approach and a fascinating conceptual disc, I’m not entirely convinced. The Spanish songs featured at the first disc remain a bit flat and sometimes sound a bit ‘cheap’. I get the impression the artist has used a lot of simple preset sounds and that’s a pity as I really believe Axel Samano is a talented musician. So I expected a bit more in the global sound treatments.
Conclusion: I feel a bit embarrassed about this work; on one side I especially appreciate the symphonic element, which has something refreshing, but on the other side the songs don’t sound fully accomplished.
Best songs: “The Hunter”, “Power And Glory” + “Fundamentals”.