‘Ifs’ from UNA – an amalgam of musical textures and consistencies
(November 20, 2016)
Any project that pulls into focus a diverse group of musicians, and joining their collective creativity into an album could be fraught with difficulty. The result may work or maybe not, there’s little scope for much ‘middle-ground’ or anything ‘in between’. UNA meaning ‘one’ or ‘together’ depending on your native tongue, is the idea of Barbara ‘Saeva’ Diana, who combining a disparate grouping of musical skills, adding her own characterful, idiosyncratic voice and blending influence from classical to jazz and rock with tradition has forged UNA and the album ‘Ifs’.
The result is an amalgam of musical textures and consistencies that defies categorisation as the various musicians add distinctive nuances to individual tracks making ‘Ifs’ a multifarious collection. And depending on your own prejudices, it will attract as a whole or rely on the discovery of discrete gems to seize your ear. For me the folk and rock edges cut the deepest and held my attention, whereas some of the more jazz-driven pieces did not, but that’s nothing more than individual preference. Ranging from the traditional styles of ‘See Beauty’ and ‘The Lover’ through the Americana stirrings of ‘If …’ and ‘Lost’ to the jazz influence in ‘Lullaby’ and rock ballad echoes of ‘Without You’ there’s something for everyone to relish.