Being a fundamentally HUGE (yes, it’s that large!) fan of Big Big Train, I wasn’t sure what to expect from Nick D’Virgilio’s solo album, Invisible. I proudly own his first album, Karma, his first EP, Pieces, every Spock’s Beard album, and Rewiring Genesis. To be sure, I presumed I would like Invisible, as I consider NDV our greatest living drummer, armed not only with rhythm (Holy Moses–that drum kit!) but with vocal prowess as well. And, from what I can tell from social media, he seems like a truly good and genuine person.
All of this adds up to high expectations for Invisible.
Well, it is even better than I expected. And, I expected a lot.
If you asked me to sum it up in a few words or even analyze it track by track, I couldn’t do it. This is a whole work of art—something to be digested in one sitting. Relentlessly captivating, it mixes progressive rock with classical with (ok, I was surprised by this one) with 1960’s style R&B with some mid-1970’s Styx with some punk-tinted Rush with broadway musicals with electronica with funk with straightforward rock and pop. Frankly, Invisible has it all. In this sense, it fits Andy Tillison’s definition of progressive—basically, “whatever I damn well want to throw in, I throw in” (my words, not Andy’s).
What most captures my imagination with the album, though, is NDV’s lyrics—so utterly earnest and so uplifting. In every song, NDV calls us to be our best. That NDV loves life is a certainty as certain that the sun will rise tomorrow, and his joy comes through every song.
If you’re looking for a new BBT or Spock’s Beard album, this isn’t it. And, that’s perfectly fine. Frankly, it doesn’t even really seem like a simple evolution from NDV’s previous solo efforts.
Invisible is . . . beyond all of this in ways that are very difficult to put into words.
But, if you’re looking for something gorgeous, something meaningful, something real, something inspiring. . . look no further. If anything, NDV has proven that real life is quite the opposite of being invisible. Rather, NDV calls us to be our best, to be tangible, and, frankly, to be the incarnate souls we’re meant to be.
To find out everything about NDV, click here: https://www.nickdvirgilio.com
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