There are times when I wonder if the significance of the album as a format has been lost forever in the quicksand of time forever replaced instead with the mixtape mentality of the iPod. “Dirt from When The Earth Was Flat” is definitely not an album in the classical sense but it does highlight the song writing skills of Swedish songstress Antonio Vai in an effective way.
With no common thread, other than her quite obvious talent, running through her album, Ms Vai nonetheless manages to charm the most tired ears as she skilfully balances her commercial instincts (“Riots” or the exquisitely catchy “When You Think About It”) with some way out there, in lyrical terms, excursions like “I Knew A Boy”. Continuing as a sort of stylistic chameleon, Antonio Vai then gets intense and serious with the Berlin cabaret style “43 Seconds to Hiroshima” that is as much Brecht as it is bleakness personified before she attempts an effective ambient transformation with “Naked and Quiet”. There is more, of course, with “Pyromani” seeming a refugee from sixties Swedish folk pop and that is certainly no bad thing.
Antonio Vai may not have had a particular direction in mind when she created this album but it would not be too hard to guess, after listening to “Dirt from When The Earth Was Flat” that her most likely direction will be up.
The album is available for download from Bandcamp.