Review: Marco Cartolari – 'Shot At The Moon'


A self-taught singer, songwriter and musician who has been refining his sound since the young age of fourteen, Marco Cartolari is an artist of inherent ability. While music has always been his passion, his decades-long love affair with sound was often forced to play a supporting role to the pressures of reality. His upbringing in a traditional Italian family very much took centre stages, and Marco’s need to trade his passion for his responsibilities became more frequent, eventually leading him to the US, an MBA from Columbia University, a marriage and a career as a successful corporate manager.


It was after his return to Italy as an entrepreneur and business owner that Marco finally found time for his passion once again; diving headfirst into the evocative world of blues, folk and traditional rock. He started small, finding gigs in clubs, theatres, and charity galas across Italy, but his drive and determination craved more, and soon he was launching himself into writing and recording his debut project, ‘Shot At The Moon’.


In many ways, Marco’s work on ‘Shot At The Moon’ is unique and deeply personal. It’s music that speaks to the soul, detailing the many ways that humans survive and dream, their wishes and their joys, and the various ways that they interpret the meaningful moments in their lives. Each track is drawn from the issues that resonate most intensely with Marco as a person, with his traditional heritage and modern way of life clashing in the most creative of ways.


Musically, Marco’s work harks back to the classic eras of American rock, channelling the dark, evocative styles of R.E.M., Springsteen, Tom Petty, and Neil Young, particularly on the rolling anthemics of the title track and lead single ‘This Is Where We Meet’. They’re simple but effective cuts that are built upon a solid foundation of atmospheric guitar, heavy bass, and subtle, yet powerful percussion. Marco’s vocals croon and flow throughout his instrumentals, never overstepping the marks of stealing too much of the focus, and the balance that is created between voice and music leads to some truly evocative moments.


There are some rough edges that require polishing, but nothing that some keen production could not solve, and while only seven tracks long, ‘Shot At The Moon’ certainly has a lot to say. It’s a collection of tracks that not only showcase Marco’s own talents, but also his wonderfully reflective style. It’s music that echoes with wisdom and nostalgia, bringing together his Italian heritage and American life lessons to create a masterful release.


Score: 8.5/10


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