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Celeste - Second Plus CD (album) cover

SECOND PLUS

Celeste

 

Rock Progressivo Italiano

3.15 | 23 ratings

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Sean Trane
Special Collaborator
Prog Folk
3 stars 3.5 stars really!!

If Celeste's debut album had a very minimalist artwork, the least we can say is that their second had a very colorful (and clichéd) cover (at least in the Mellow MMP 154, which adds a bunch of bonus tracks to the Second) and the group is now a quintet with a full-time drummer. However musically, Celeste's music has not remained much the same to PDUG, and in some ways (or at least in some moments) is even more enjoyable, but there are more typical Italian pop moments as well. Indeed, Harmonium's presence is much less felt on this second album, and there are three tracks above 10 minutes in what would be a double vinyl (if it ever did get out in this version), Mazzo De Ortiche being an absolute aural orgasm , Battaglia's bass being orgiastic during the lengthy instrumental section where all the other instruments take their moments of glory.

The full story on this release is that the "Second" album was a posthumous release of tracks that were recorded just before the group's demise in 77, and was made of four lengthy tracks, which are presented, from track 3 to 6 included, on the second version named Second Plus. And there are a bunch of bonus tracks preceding these four tracks and following them.

So the first two tracks might actually lead the proghead hoping for a repeat performance of Principe Di Un Giorno, because the extended use of the Mellotron will have you believe so. The opening Giardino Armonico (also closing the retouched Plus album) is a pure and shameless Mellotron exploitation track, while Bassa Marea (Low Tide) is just a little less than an orgy, but the group plays with Pierrino. Of the four lengthier tracks (present on the first version of the album), two (All' Ombra and Danza Di Mare) appear to be in a relatively unfinished state, but there is nothing shocking or scandalous, especially due the much jazzier feel (mentioned in the first paragraph), which allows greater imperfections. The next few shorter tracks are obviously taken from the same sessions as the Second album as they also radiate this soft delightful jazz-rock. Somehow a wise undaunting Canterbury-esque jazz rock is not far away, but in a Caravan way, because Celeste strays a little but never digress much from their original symphonic sound.

While not as stunning as Principe, and being a bit of an exploitation album, Second Plus remains an excellent release, much worthy of your hunt if you loved Principe. To think that this bottom of the drawer release is much better than a lot of Italian official historical releases tells you just how much

Sean Trane | 3/5 |

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