Mario Biondi ‎– Beyond

Sony Music ‎– 88875101491
2 × Vinyl, LP, Album


A1 Open Up Your Eyes
A2 All Of My Life
A3 Love Is A Temple
A4 All I Want Is You
B1 I Chose You
B2 You Can't Stop This Love Between Us
B3 Blind
C1 Come Down
C2 Heart Of Stone
C3 Fly Away
D1 Another Kind Of Love
D2 Over The World
D3 Where Does The Money Go

Other Versions (5 of 5) View All

Cat# Artist Title (Format) Label Cat# Country Year
88875101402 Mario Biondi Beyond(CD, Album) Columbia 88875101402 Europe 2015 Sell This Version
88875165882 Mario Biondi Beyond Special Edition(2xCD, Album, S/Edition) Columbia 88875165882 Italy 2015 Sell This Version
88875121082 Mario Biondi Beyond(CD, Album) Columbia 88875121082 Russia 2015 Sell This Version
88875101392 Mario Biondi Beyond(CD, Album) Columbia 88875101392 2015 Sell This Version
88985302212 Mario Biondi Beyond & Mario Biondi Vc Commodores(CD, Album) Sony Music 88985302212 Europe 2016 Sell This Version


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July 14, 2016

Really superb album. At first you think Love Is A Temple is the only hit, but the more you listen, the more you realize all of the songs are hits (all!). At the moment Over The World sounds in my head each morning, but few days ago it was All Of My Life. There's not a single "filler", very rare these days. The album is very eclectic: disco, house, funk/soul (recorded at Daptone Studios with Dap Kings), slow jazz ballads and even reggae!

Unfortunately quality of vinyl press is 7/10 which is quite usual now. I had to wash it before digitalizing to remove some particles, even it was never-played mint copy, side A is the most affected by noise of needle touching the groove and it is audible in silent moments of the songs, side A is also a little off center. The noise is most audible in headphones, on speakers it is OK.


February 7, 2016
edited about 1 year ago
Mario Biondo’s been on the scene for over a decade now and after his fantastic releases on Schema records has seemingly been trying to find a different route to more of a mass market. His releases on Italian labels Tattica and Halidon were doomed to go unnoticed on the international scene but the quality of his output became a bit of a mixed bag on some of the Sony releases. After “Mario Christmas” in 2013 (which I didn’t bother checking out…) he’s back in 2015 with “Beyond" and I am wondering whether the record company put a gun to his head and said “it’s pop market success now or never!"

“Open Up Your Eyes” opens the album with a gimmicky intro announcing ab Air France flight (in English!?!?), then Mario's signature voice before a rather average R&B rhythm track kicks in. It’s not bad, but for me the combination does not work as it has in the past when his voice was oozing class above more jazzy backgrounds.
“All Of My Life" starts with a pleasant groove, but strange instrumentation (accordion?), a poppy chorus and back ground vocals as well as a weak rap drag it down. Again, Mario’s voice seems wasted against this instrumental.
“Love Is A Temple” has a better match of voice and tune but the track is going further towards pop territory and does nothing for me; neither does the ballad “All I Want Is You”.
However, we have not hit the bottom yet: “I chose You” is truly awful boy-band material written by Natalia Hajjara, Aaron Cowan and J. Warner. An absolute disgrace for a singer like Mario Biondi. Unbelievably bad.
“You Can’t Stop The Love Between Us” is pop funk with a stolen intro from…. arrrgh, I can’t remember which break beat they ripped off. Somebody please put a comment under this review and help me out. Anyway, it all remains trivial and mundane and becomes irritating with its two spoken / rapped females verses in French by Italian singer Lola Leghaly who does not even sound like she speaks French very often...
“Blind” is a bit better in production and delivery but still far from decent recent retro-groove producers like Cool Million who actually know how to do this right.
“Come Down" wants to aim for a Bruno Mars stomper, but it is missing the catchy hook and the ballsy delivery. The simple, verging on stupid harmony structure make it another weak song writing effort by Natalia Hajjara, Aaron Cowan this time together with C. Brown.

Surprise, surprise, “Heart Of Stone” is a cover of a 2010 song by UK artist Jonathan Jeremiah. I think the original is not particularly well know and (in my opinion) not worth checking out. This cover is certainly better. It is noticeable from the opening chord and the soulful background vocals as well as the brassy rhythm track. Finally a good track!!! It’s not stellar but a highlight of the album and the explanation is not difficult to find: It’s the Dap-Kings delivering all music with two proper soul sisters on background vocals. Check out the album by The Dapettes AKA Saun & Starr.

“Fly Away” is a good slow-jam that makes better use of Mario’s deep voice over a decent soul groove. It would have been nice to give the Flugelhorn a bit more prominence or even a solo and it would have certainly benefitted from better production of the drum track and the synths. Maybe a job for a talented remixer?
“Another Kind Of Love” written by Mario together with JP Maunick of Incognito fame makes a nod to Cameo’s Candy in the rhythm guitar groove and the synth sprinkles. Not bad if you like that 80s feel.
“Over The World” is again a pop tune; it’s heavily borrowing from something I can not put my finger on as I do not know enough pop music by name.
“Where Does The Money Go” is a bit of a “Yikes!” moment: the two bar drum intro made me expect a “Superstition” rip off, but instead it becomes a pop/schunkel reggae tune. This might work on German radio, but, gee, Mario, what were you thinking…?

So, my ultimate verdict, actually, my plea: Mario Biondi, go back to your old Schema mates from a decade ago. Work with the High Five Quintet, let Nicola Conte remix your stuff for the dance floor, go to London and work with Incognito’s Bluey or go to Brooklyn and work with Bosco Mann and the Daptone crew on a whole album. Whatever you do, get rid of your current production crew and Never Ever let Natalia Hajjara Aaron Cowan write another song for you.

Edit and PS: To get an idea of the level of musician's talent wasted on this record, please go to YouTube and check out bassist Federico Malaman playing the composition "MALADEY" together with 19 year old Indian prodigy Mohini Dey...