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Acqua Fragile - Acqua Fragile CD (album) cover

ACQUA FRAGILE

Acqua Fragile

 

Rock Progressivo Italiano

3.12 | 113 ratings

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stefro
Prog Reviewer
3 stars Pretty decent if slightly underwhelmung slice of melodic Italian prog from Acqua Fragile, a group most famous for providing a platform for lead-vocalist Bernardo Lanzetti. Possessing a unique, Roger Chapman-style voice and fluent in English, Lanzetti would go to to join Italian prog giants PFM during their Manticore-era English-language phase, before enjoying a successful solo career following his departure in 1980. His time with Acqua Fragile saw the Parma-based outfit issue two albums in two years, both featuring English lyrics, with this self-titled debut closely followed by 1974's 'Mass Media Stars'. Having spent time living in the United States, Lanzetti was keen from the very beginning to sing his vocals in English and thus have the group appeal to a wider international audience, yet the ploy backfired when their 1973 debut was issued in Italy only, and as a result the album proved a commercial disappointment. 'Mass Media Stars' did, however, prove slightly more successful, and was given a limited release in North America, though it failed to chart. Of the two, it is arguably the debut that shines brightest, the group wearning their Yes and Gentle Giant influences on their sleeve and providing a decidedly un-Italian brand of upbeat prog-rock that has very little in common with the likes of Le Orme, Area, Osanna or Banco, though they do share the same bright, optimistic ambience found on some of PFM's better records. Of course, the main attraction for many will be Lanzetti, and the vocalist gives a stirring performance, his throaty, warbling yet warm and comfortable voice given the perfect backing on tracks such as 'Morning Comes', which opens the album in fine style, and the eight-minute closer 'Three Hands Man'. In between you'll find a selection of attractive songs adorned with pretty melodies and occasionally complex instrumental flourishes, though the album does lack any real stand-out tunes. That said, fans of both Italian and British prog should find enough to satisfy their tastes, and Lanzetti's voice reallty is something to behold. Hardly a classic then, but enjoiyable enough all the same. STEFAN TURNER, STOKE NEWINGTON, 2015
stefro | 3/5 |

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