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Le Orme - Uomo Di Pezza CD (album) cover


Le Orme


Rock Progressivo Italiano

4.22 | 673 ratings

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Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Elegant, graceful music

Well, Linus and Jimmy Row got me to pull out the Orme again with their reviews so I suppose the time has come to rate it. I've avoided the "big 3" in large part because while I understand they are seminal to Italian progressive music my interests lie more with the lesser known bands. Why? I'm not sure, other than to say I'll take the blue collar Italian restaurant in the rough part of town with its checkered table cloth, 80 year-old family red sauce recipe, and slight spilled beer smell over the black tie Italian café downtown with the trained superstar chef who has been on cooking shows. There is something intimate and indefinable to me in many of the so-called "minor" bands that I don't necessarily get from the big 3, and yet, albums like this are still indispensable.

This album cannot be denied its well-earned reputation. The production is great for '72. The keyboards have such a mature, stately sound throughout, rarely cheesy, often majestic. The drumming is varied and very good without being excessively showy. The vocals are pleasant and relaxing but perhaps too mellow and polite for my tastes. It begins with a signature Italian prog track in "Una Dolcezza Nuova" which delivers it all. Gothic organ playing a sad progression before the drums engage, leading to the piano..Oh my God the piano lines here.are so damn beautiful. The intro stops and all is quiet as the most melancholic and gorgeous piano lines emerge. Enter the vocals. Mid ranged, calm, reassuring, warm and romantic. The whole of the sound in this track is what so many later bands would be influenced by. Gently the bass begins to flutter these delicate lines over the top of the piano and drums, truly a moment that almost brings tears. "Gioco Di Bimba" takes a more folky approach with a bouncy acoustic feel, somewhat whimsical synth lines on the side. "La Porta Chiusa" is the longest track and has a more urgent feel with somewhat frantic keyboard runs and rhythms. In the final minute there is a brief calm respite before a big ending. "Breve Immagine" has a dreamy feel that sounds like an echoed organ alternating with a strong chorus with swirling synths. "Figure Di Cartone" is a bit on the poppy side and features the only keys I don't like on this album, some rather cheesy synths (Moog?) that just bug the hell out of me. Almost kazoo-like..ouch. "Aspettando L'Alba" starts with an acoustic guitar slightly distorted with a fluttered effect. The drums and vocals come in with crisp strummed acoustic and the two sections trade off. Both are simply gorgeous. I swear I hear flute in there too though none is listed in our credits so I guess it's the mellotron flute. A very trippy washed out keys and effects pan the spectrum near the end. "Alienazione" begins with very heavy drumming and keys, very dramatic. It moves into a slightly funky but almost dissonant middle section with winding keyboard parts and driving, plodding drums. The album goes out wearing this bit of pizzazz and leaving you with a great aftertaste.

Certainly an essential Italian title for fans of the genre and a good bet for anyone who appreciates quality keyboard oriented prog. As is the case with some Ange, the awful Philips CD reissue I have gives you absolutely nothing in terms of liner notes, photos, or the like. It is really pathetic that Philips treats such great bands in this manner.

Finnforest | 4/5 |


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