Daniele Liverani Genius – A Rock Opera

Rock operas are a tricky undertaking, and while Liverani should get some credit for even attempting the challenge and assembling a cast of talented performers, that doesn’t change the fact that Genius reeks. With a few exceptions, these songs might have worked okay as a normal prog or power metal record, and if you ignore the lyrics and block out the narration it’s possible to enjoy some of their musical merits. But the story — ugh. The dream world concept isn’t a complete write off, but it’s poorly handled. Just the opening naïve generalisations and protagonist named "Genius” are enough to spoil the album before it begins. Bands often get away with substandard lyrics if their music is strong enough on its own, but an opera (rock or not) depends on its "libretto” for a partnership between words and music. Genius is subtitled Episode 1 – A Human Into Dreams’ World; let’s hope Episode 2 never becomes more than a dream itself. (Frontiers)