Bernie Chiaravalle - Mystery of Love (2005)

Bernie Chiaravalle
BernieC-Mystery.jpg
Click on CD cover
to listen or purchase

Though he spends most of his day job playing blue-eyed soul, Bernie Chiaravalle is a Beatles-influenced adult contemporary singer/songwriter at heart.  And Mystery of Love is a fine piece that would have fit well during that genre's heyday of the late 70s and early 80s, standing next to work by artists such as Christopher Cross and America.  While Adult Contemporary radio now focuses more on finding the mellowest song from the latest Rob Thomas or Green Day album (but with some promise from newer artists like John Mayer, Jason Mraz and Gavin DeGraw), there should be room for a melodic, intelligent album like Mystery of Love that goes to the heart of that genre's foundation.

Though he spends most of his day job playing blue-eyed soul, Bernie Chiaravalle is a Beatles-influenced adult contemporary singer/songwriter at heart.  And Mystery of Love is a fine piece that would have fit well during that genre's heyday of the late 70s and early 80s, standing next to work by artists such as Christopher Cross and America.  While Adult Contemporary radio now focuses more on finding the mellowest song from the latest Rob Thomas or Green Day album (but with some promise from newer artists like John Mayer, Jason Mraz and Gavin DeGraw), there should be room for a melodic, intelligent album like Mystery of Love that goes to the heart of that genre's foundation.

Sounding vocally like a cross between Gerry Rafferty and Brent Bourgeois (of Bourgeois-Tagg), Chiaravalle runs through a set of love themes - from romantic to filial to spiritual - on Mystery of Love, and it uniformly works.  Songs like the leadoff "Father and Child," "Sad As It Seems" and especially the disc's best cut, the keyboard-drenched, soulful "Lead Us Back to Love," would've been hits 20 years ago, and they still sound great in 2006.  Like Pack's recent The Secret of Moving On, this is, start to finish, a very enjoyable album from an adult rock veteran and is worth seeking out.  Recommended.

By Chris Rizik

 
Featured Album - Leon Ware - "Rainbow Deux"
Featured Album - David Porter - The Classics
Album of the Month - Cool Million - "Stronger"
Song of the Month - Ascendant - "Gotta Get Up"

Leave a comment!