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Banco Del Mutuo Soccorso - Io Sono Nato Libero CD (album) cover


Banco Del Mutuo Soccorso


Rock Progressivo Italiano

4.37 | 960 ratings

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5 stars IL SONO NATO LIBERO is Banco Del Mutuo Soccorso's third album, and one of the finest examples of the virtuosity, diversity, power and beauty of Italian "symphonic" progressive rock that I've had the good fortune to hear. This superb disc ranks up there with the best works by Banco's countrymen/contemporaries PFM, but has a style of its own. Banco reminds me of PFM only inasmuch as their vocals are delivered in Italian (for my money, Banco has the better, more interesting singer in Francesco Di Giacomo), there is great variation in their dynamic music, and generous use of the sort of pretty acoustic guitar work that PFM also excel at. For me, somewhat more obvious musical antecedents/similarities are to be found in piano-heavy bands like ELP and early Renaissance, though BDMS are far from being anyone's mere "sound-alike" imitator. This band stands on their own two (all right, twelve!) feet.

"IL SONO" has almost all of the elements that I most crave from progressive rock: great keyboards and piano, lovely acoustic guitar, precise drumming and percussion, solid bass, grand, heart-pumping musical themes, memorable melodies, and stirring vocals. More overt use of the electric guitar (which is a bit understated here) would have been nice, and lyrics that I could comprehend would further sweeten the deal, but one can't often have it all. Who knows? -- there is always the slight chance that the lyrics, if rendered in English, might not agree with me. As it is, the fact that the vocals are in Italian only serves to make this a more exotic listening experience, and frees me to give my undivided attention to the fabulous music.

Each of the five tracks on this disc is top-shelf stuff: The lengthy opener "Canto Nomade Per un Prigi" is musically varied and never boring, and the by turns pretty, folkish and exciting "No Me Rompete," allows the acoustic guitar of Marcello Todaro, as well as Di Giacomo's vocals, to really shine. "La Citta'sottile" has plenty of primo piano and organ, as well as a majestic synthesized "orchestral" section. "Dopo Niente e piu lo Stesso" is simply top grade, refined classic Italian prog, with more excellent piano (check out the MP3 here), and the final number, "Traccia II," is a classically flavoured, straight-to-the bone shorter piece that ends the CD on a truly exalted note!

I thought about giving this one only four stars, but, upon re-listening and reflection, I feel I must award IL SONO NATO LIBERO full marks. (Okay -- four and a-half stars, rounded up to five!) I like it about as much as I like any prog that is sung in what for me is a foreign tongue, and I truly believe that it deserves a place of prestige in the collections of all fans of fine, complex music -- "progressive" or otherwise. You just can't go wrong with this one!

Peter | 5/5 |


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