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Valensia – Valensia [1993]

Country Netherlands          

Style AOR

Rating 84/100

Band Members Valensia – All Instruments & Vocals

Additional Musicians Marcel Schimscheimer – Bass, Hans Eijkeneer,Juan Van Emmmerloot,Marcel Serierse – Drums, Jel Jongen – Trombone, Eddie Conrad,Pim Koopman – Percussion, Robby Valentine – Grand Piano, Philip Kold – Saxophone, Wim Both – Trumpet

Tracks 01. Tere (6:06), 02. The Sun (3:32), 03. Scaraboushka (3:51), 04. Nathalie (4:48), 05. Tango Tamara (3:21), 06. T’kylah II (0:31), 07. T’kylah (4:04), 08. Megalomania (4:24), 09. My Heart Is In Your Hands (5:32), 10. Mr. 1999 (3:43), 11. Gaia (5:51), 12. 1997 (2:07)

Profile “Gaia” is the debut album by Dutch composer/singer/multi-instrumentalist Valensia, originally released in 1993. “Gaia” primarily addressed to the Japanese market and a portion of Europe, could be labeled as pomp adult oriented rock. Through its twelve songs, Valensia goes through a variety of musical styles having keyboards/orchestral arrangements and guitars as the main tools of expression, beyond his unmistakable vocals.

“Gaia” is pretty diverse and at parts extreme in its arrangements, hence there is no such thing as a straightforward melodic rock song on this debut. The songs go through various twists and turns (changes in key, tempos and scales) while retaining their melodic essence. Having played “Gaia” a good number of times, one has to admire Valensia’s songwriting talent, after all he did compose and arrange this debut single-handedly; yet the memorable moments, hence the songs that will keep one coming back to this album are few.

The opening track “Tere” a pomp melodic rock opus at its own right, has challenging verses and extensive rocking choruses, making it the highlight of “Gaia” on the spot. The other unmistakable highlight of “Gaia” is the ballad “My heart is in your hands” possibly one of the best AOR moments of the mid-90s, and the album’s simplest arrangement.

Nikiforos V. Skoumas

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Valensia - Valensia [1993], 8.5 out of 10 based on 2 ratings
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