Italian singer-songwriter Massimiliano Morini is the leader of rock group Moro, which he calls his “musical creature”. The four-piece recently released their second album, Silent Revolution, to pleasant comparisons from the press. As they generally agree, Moro’s influences range noticeably from the lush ’60s folk of Donovan to darker contemporaries like Elliott Smith. He also shows a fondness for the music of Leonard Cohen and Paul Weller, and how their depictions of emotions are as eclectic as their stylistic preferences. Silent Revolution alternates between light and shadow, like Cohen’s best, and that thematic presence is the primary influence heard. Their sound may not feature Cohen’s gravelly voice and idiosyncratic narratives, but there’s certainly an admiration for him throughout Moro’s Silent Revolution to keep it relevant. “I try to write Paul Weller songs with Leonard Cohen lyrics,” Morini said, never afraid to wear his influences on his sleeve.
One of the album’s standout efforts is the title track, dedicated to “to those who do not know where to stand in life, or what to decide or where to go; it’s an ode to all armchair rebels of the world.” Its perky and jovial guitar-pop sounds more Swedish than Italian, and comparisons to the somber works of Smith or Cohen are somewhat irrelevant here, but it’s an accessibly breezy joy that serves as a good introduction to Moro. The majority of the album plays more in the vein of Donovan or The Kinks, rather than Elliott Smith and Leonard Cohen. But inspirations can emerge in interesting ways. The swanky and suave “Ordinary Days” is a charming blend of smokey lounge keys and bluesy guitar spurs. Both “Silent Revolution” and “Ordinary Days” are apt showings of Morini’s talents as a songwriter and frontman.