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Formula 3 - La Grande Casa CD (album) cover


Formula 3


Rock Progressivo Italiano

3.04 | 54 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Sean Trane
Special Collaborator
Prog Folk
3 stars This weird trio was one of the earliest of the Italian scene, and LGC is really only their second real album: I don't really consider that Dies Irae and the eponymous album as real/proper albums because none of the songs were simply never written by them, but rather with the Battisti/Mogol writing team. Both of their first two album are completely uninteresting to progheads (developing a beat-pop) except for the odd track - the title track on the debut and the 11-min opener on the second (and even then it is weak). The better Sognando concept album, still plagued with poor pop tracks from that writing duo, but at least their trio's songs now existed and were much better than the ones from the hired team. With their final album La Grande Casa, the group parted with the team (well they kept the lyric writer anyway), but all of the tracks were written by the trio, two of them getting the help of outsider Marrow.

While there are not epics like Ultima Foglia (from Sognando) on this album, this album has personal touch that none of their predecessor has, and this is why advise progheads to start here. With the very intimate Rasodia De Radius as lead off, one can hear some real prog, developing some real moods and ambiances. The following Ciliegia is however a rather surprising track (sounding rather out-of-context with the rest of the album), unsettling because it is unusual with recording level bizarrely upfront and quaint acoustic guitar string strumming, but clearly the group is falling on Battisti syndrome withdrawals. Much more in line with the rest of the album is the quiet crescendo Liberta, but in the end manages to sound a bit cheesy.

The flipside starts with their best (IMHO) track ever, the title track is also a nice crescendo, building up twice to its enthralling and catchy climax. Cara Giovanna is definitely more in Battisti realm, but does not present the glaring weaknesses than Ciliegia. The closing Bambina is again a bit too close to Battisti realm for comfort, but the group manages not to fall in the obvious traps by installing a strong groove in the closing section.

While their previous album gets the nod from a majority of progheads I prefer this one because it is much more even, almost not presenting any atrocious/cringing Battisti pop stuff, but don't get your hopes up too high, none of Formula 3 records are really worth your hard-earned cash, even if you indulge gladly in Italian prog. From what I know, only singer/bassist/guitarist Radius (the better musician of the trio) will pursue in music. Their best, but hardly essential and unfortunately too short.

PS: This F3 album is most likely the only one I will bother with, the first two being complete waste of time (heard them through friends that were trying to get rid of them;-), and I got rid of the third one long ago.

Sean Trane | 3/5 |


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