Ivan Comar and Gabriele Saro “Open Your Eyes” (SINGLE)
In their new joint single “Open Your Eyes” and its B-side “Like Paparazzi Flashes,” Italian pop magicians Ivan Comar and Gabriele Saro strike a near-perfect balance between lyric-centric harmonies and rich, textured beats. As tuneful as a conventional pop song but littered with far more electronic influences than the mainstream model would allow for, “Open Your Eyes” has an experimental faceting that gives it more indie credibility than most any other radio-ready tune I’ve reviewed out of the European underground this season. On the other hand, “Like Paparazzi Flashes” is an exhibition in surrealism; decadence personified in pop melodies, it acts as the yang to the other song’s yin exquisitely well. The connection between these collaborators is strong, but not nearly as tight as the rhythm they churn out in both of these marvelous new songs.
The tension created by the hook being introduced in “Open Your Eyes” exhibits a postmodern quality that I would really like to hear more of in Saro’s future endeavors. A lot of singers in her position would be hesitant about trying to manage as atmospheric a harmony as this one is amidst as feverish a groove as the song supports, but she never sounds anything but swaggering in her performance. There’s not anything to hold her back from pummeling us with one melodically virtuosic verse after another in this single, and though she stops short of overindulgence, there’s no denying the fact that the grandiosity in her execution makes the track sound so much more glistening in the grander scheme of things.
Both “Open Your Eyes” and the Comar-led “Like Paparazzi Flashes” enjoy electronica-steeped production styles, and when taking into account the amount of detail within each song, this was probably a wise move on the part of Comar and Saro. By utilizing intricacy-oriented mixing in this situation, they were able to squeeze a lot of extra gusto out of this pair of single-quality compositions that others would just as soon have left unexploited. Their American contemporaries could really stand to learn a thing or two about their prudent approach to songcraft, because, truth be told, the mishmash of excess and minimalism coming out of the western underground has left a lot to be desired among critics lately.
If “Open Your Eyes” and “Like Paparazzi Flashes” are just a preview of what Ivan Comar and Gabriele Saro could potentially accomplish in the right venue together, I think it would be criminal of them both to refuse us another opportunity to hear them collaborate. These tracks unleash beastly melodies and seductive beats that seem specifically tailored for the culture of pop music we’re living in today, and considering just how much the world has been through lately, they couldn’t be arriving at a better time in history. Comar and Saro can do a lot of amazing things on their own, but when they get into the same studio, they start fires that no critic, no matter how discriminating, will be able to put out in the wake of their success this spring.
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