Lorenzo Gabanizza isn’t afraid to work with other talented performers. His new single “You’re Not There” features the guest vocal talents of Jeff Christie interpreting a fine lyric many will relate to. It’s the latest single in a musical journey whose public phase began with Gabanizza’s tenure with a couple of Queen tribute acts, one of which toured Europe during his time as a member. He’s released several studio recordings under his own name and “You’re Not Here” provides us a look into Gabanizza’s creative progress.
He’s produced first-class material, however, since the beginning. The difference now is increasing grandiloquence that never comes at the expense of its entertainment value. Gabanizza’s “You’re Not There” speaks with occasionally poetic frankness about life’s fragility and our distressing habit for putting off until tomorrow what we should say or do today. It’s a story as old as humankind but it’s never a wearisome listening experience.
I especially love the guitar playing. The production frames its melodic elegance with near-tactile clarity – you practically feel each note. Playing such as this provides a vocalist with a capable partner, but Gabanizza doesn’t content himself with a duo. The presence of horns throughout significant portions of “You’re Not There” expands the dimensions of this song in a transformative fashion. An already high-flying tune goes stratospheric.
There’s never any overplaying his hand, however. Melodrama has no place here. The music and lyrics alike are deliberate, holding back just enough to entice listeners onward, and satisfying payoffs throughout the song reward anyone willing to hang with it. The chorus, especially, brings everything home. Moreover, it is a moment of unbridled truth. There’s no sugarcoating the song’s meaning here.
The arrangement, playing, and production do much to mitigate any bleakness in the song’s message. Another redeeming factor is the implication, by the song’s existence alone and other lesser reasons, that our irreversible end doesn’t have to drain our lives of meaning. We leave documents such as this, among other accomplishments, in our wake and those reverberations leave lasting marks on everything following us. Perhaps another way of hearing the song’s message is carpe diem -seize the day. There may not be another.
Wrapping this up in a condensed package is another intelligent move. The arrangement, the scaffolding for any song, has familiar coherence – experienced listeners will anticipate each instrumental turn and enjoy the player’s obvious skill. Gabanizza doesn’t attempt overextending the song’s charms. Instead, he happily embraces a traditional structure that helps get his material across to the biggest possible audience.
“You’re Not There” is a great single packing a powerful emotional punch. Gabanizza sounds like he began the recording process with a clear idea of what he wanted the song to become and how to get there. He has, by any measure, succeeded. The latest single from this talented performer maybe a collaboration, but it bears the hallmarks distinguishing Lorenzo Gabanizza from many contemporaries and peers. I hope a wealth of new listeners come his way from this release.