[Review] Dario and the Clear – Reflective Touch

Dario and the Clear is an American project from New York with Progressive Rock sounds created by multi-instrumentalist Dario Saraceno. Taking advantage of the collaboration of musicians and high-level guests of the world music scene, he has released several albums in recent years. The new release “Reflective Touch” out on May 3, 2022 and contains 8 medium length tracks. The title track “Reflective Touch” opens the album, featuring guitar arpeggios and a warm and expressive vocal, creating a dreamy atmosphere. Alternating passages with more dilated and Ambient sounds, with a minimal rhythm of percussion and others more Rock, the track flows pleasant and delicate. The following “Another Time” has an 80’s style sound imprint, with marked Pop influences, mostly sung only in the second part we find more elaborate instrumental parts with solo inserts. “Joe’s Surf” is an all instrumental track with a more Rock sound, a solid and linear rhythm session and good guitar solos. With some tempo changes and passages leading to Ambient / New Age, it shows an interesting blend between these genres, with good instrumental textures. From the more electronic and modern sounds “Listen To Me” shows a side closer to the progressive sounds, with Pop influences, but with elaborate passages. Good intertwining between guitar and keyboards, with refined and intense solo parts, vocal parts and sounds enriched by effects and modulations. “Unforgettable” is the shortest track of the album, characterized by guitar and wind arpeggios on which a warm and expressive singing is inserted. The longest of the album “Heavy Merge” with over 6 minutes in length, it returns with a mix of more modern and electronic sounds and hard guitar riffs and a Rock structure. The sound shows an intertwining between the 80’s Neo Prog and the modern day Rock, mixed with the personal traits of the band, skilled in offering a good instrumental section in the central part. “Move On” continues on the sounds of the latest tracks, combining electronic features close to the 80s and a personal Rock touch. If we close our eyes this track both for the lyrics and the singing and for the music takes us back 35/40 years. The album ends with “Arkansas Charlie” a solid track reminiscent of the melodic Hard Rock of the 80s, with modulations and effects typical of that period. Smooth and linear, it is a good piece of Rock, but one that we have already listened to many times. An album that contains tracks of Rock that can be heard, well performed by artists who have a good technique. In my humble opinion there are some interesting ideas and others less original and even less progressive. More melodic Rock than Prog in its most classic and pure sense, it contains 8 tracks that I expected more elaborate and with more instrumental passages.


01. Reflective Touch (05:48)
02. Another Time (04:12)
03. Joe’s Surf (05:17)
04. Listen To Me (04:01)
05. Unforgettable (02:30)
06. Heavy Merge (06:12)
07. Move On (04:01)
08. Arkansas Charlie (03:24)


Dario Saraceno / Vocals, Elecrtic Guitar, Classical Guitar, Freatless Classical Guitar
Nat Kerr / Keyboards ,Bass and Drum Programming
Eric Dalton / Drum

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Author: Jacopo Vigezzi

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