Franck Carducci – The Answer (Self Released)

Three albums in and singer songwriter Franck Carducci has hit his stride.

In fact, this multi-layered mix of progressive rock and melodic blues represents a giant leap forward for an artist tipped for big things in 2020.

To be Franck, it’s inspired.

There are echoes of Steve Hogarth-era Marillion, Yes and even the mighty Zeppelin on immersive opener (Love Is) The Answer.

But it might be track two that says it best where Carducci is concerned.

The refreshingly honest refrain of Slave To Rock N Roll reveals the true roots of this remarkable record.

And an intoxicating mix of AOR and 70s-inspired blues rock represents a standout moment.

Think Free, Foreigner and Deep Purple delivering the ultimate jam.

It’s that good.

Carducci might be a slave to rock n roll but he’s no slave to genre limitations.

And there are times when The Answer is more like the solution to those seeking a history lesson in half a century of guitar-based creativity.

Carducci, of course, isn’t afraid to mix things up and three of the tracks here combine for a meaty 33-plus minutes.

Superstar is 12 minutes of sheer majesty as an acoustic-led intro gives way to a McCartney-esque vocal and an engrossing story takes shape.

Those already licking their lips at the prospect of next year’s UK tour should keep fingers (and toes) crossed that there’s room in the set for this modern-day masterpiece.

But Asylum is almost as good.

And it’s difficult to imagine both epics making their presence felt on the same night. Who knows?

Carducci might be a relative unknown in the UK but that’s surely set to change.

The Answer is both meandering and instantly accessible, lofty in its ambition and yet focused enough to succeed on every level.

A late contender for the Rushonrock Record Of The Year? You’d better believe it.

‘Tis the season of giving: send a Christmas Carducci to everyone you know.