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Algebra - JL CD (album) cover




Rock Progressivo Italiano

3.35 | 23 ratings

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Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars The years following ''Iceberg'' were spent by Algebra on playing live and stabilizing a secure line-up.Mario Giammetti's sister Maria, who guested on sax in the first album, was promoted to a full-time member and in 1995 Roberto Polcino joins the band on keyboards.However original drummer Salvatore Silvestri leaves Algebra in 1998 and he is replaced by Francesco Ciani.From this point begins a huge presence of Algebra on tribute albums, including participations on works dedicated to Genesis, ELP, Gentle Giant, Camel, Jethro Tull and The Moody Blues among other compilations.Passing through the mid-00's they focused on working and recording their second album ''JL'', based on Richard Bach's book ''Jonathan Livingston Seagull''.The work of the band attracted some impressive guest stars among others like John Hackett (flute on three tracks), Steve Hackett (guitar in the opening track), Le Orme's Aldo Tagliapietra (vocals in one track) and Osanna's Lino Vairetti (vocals in one track).The album was released in October 2009 on BTF.

Stylistically Algebra's music has not changed significantly, 15 years after their debut.The concept flows in 21 short pieces, where the band explores the elegance of smooth Symphonic Rock and the power within the acoustic textures, mostly coming as a cross between GENESIS, CELESTE, CAMEL and PREMIATA FORNERIA MARCONI.Of course the material lacks any pompous textures or strong interplays to be fully compared with the aforementioned legends and it is based more on atmosphere with soaring synthesizers, light symphonic keyboards, soft electric guitars and plenty of acoustic soundscapes.Impressively the production is a bit flat, recalling mainly the 90's than a more recent album, with a few flat keyboard sounds in the process, but in general the music is pretty good, melodic and deeply emotional.As expected by a concept work the album contains also lots of lyrical passages with nice Italian vocals and even some Pop sensibilities and Lounge Jazz ambiences in a few pieces, propably serving the needs of the unfolding story.While Algebra's album once more lacks in power and dynamics, it has a good instrumental depth with synthesizers, organ and guitars in evidence and if the production was better the album could be a great surprise among the 2009 Prog releases.

2010 sees the last appearance of Algebra on Marillion's tribute album ''Recital for a season's end''.Do not write this band off the map though, because they have showed us that they are capable of a comeback in a few years.

''JL'' is a great album if soft, polished and melodic Progressive Rock is among your prorities.Obvious references to the classic bands of the 70's will also be appreciated by fans of more vintage sounds.Warmly recommended.

apps79 | 3/5 |


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