Culture

CD REVIEW San Ilya

Anyone who has tuned into the latest Revlon ads has already had a luscious sample of the mesmerizing group, San Ilya. “Bellissimo,” the seductive song used to amplify sensuality in the commercials, is only a tiny example of the magnificence that awaits listeners in their debut album, They Died For Beauty.

With the theme of love at the helm of each song, the band breaks new ground on how to make something sound truly sexy. San Ilya creates a dazzling blend of smooth jazz, slow-yet-enchanting dance beats and airy vocals that seeps into the soul and stays there.

This is the effect of the haunting grace that hovers over each song. From the placid song “Bliss” to the ethereal “Soleil Soleil,” Ilya sweep listeners into their beautiful world with lyrics that compliment the dreamy ambience. Over the dark and moody “Heavenly,” for example, singer Joanna Swan croons, “It’s heavenly, taking its time to be carefree,” like an eerie incantation.

Almost every song carries a dark undertone merged with a feeling of nostalgia-a combination that is sure to entice listeners. San Ilya goes out of their way to make some of the most uniquely beautiful music in recent times and the resulting debut album is a timeless gem.

Rafael Sangiovanni can be contacted at r.sangiovanni@umiami.edu.

September 28, 2004

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