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Osanna - Preludio, Tema, Variazioni, Canzona  [Aka: Milano Calibro 9 (OST)] CD (album) cover




Rock Progressivo Italiano

3.57 | 90 ratings

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siLLy puPPy
4 stars Sandwiched between the group's energetic and eclectic debut "L'Uomo" and the progressive landmark album "Palepoli" which has immortalized them forever in the progressive rock history books was a short little album that has gone by two titles and barely clocks in over a half of an hour in running time. Originally released as PRELUDIO, TEMA, VARIAZIONI E CANZONA, this second album by OSANNA is actually a progressive rock soundtrack for the Italian film MILANO CALIBRO 9 which is also the second title that it has been released as. While credited as an OSANNA album proper as it is performed exclusively by the face-painting band from Naples, several of the tracks were written by the pianist and composer Luiz Enrique Bacalov who not only wrote several of the tracks but also tackled the arrangements as well as serving as director of the orchestrations.

Despite this not being a total-control type of OSANNA album and designed to serve the mood of the film (which i've never seen) it still sounds very much like the same musicians who performed on "L'Uomo" and "Palepoli." The film itself was based on the book of the same name CALIBRO 9 (meaning "caliber 9") and was about a small-time gangster who, once released from prison, had to convince the police, his friends and his girlfriend that he was going straight and done with the criminal world however everyone around him believes he has a stash of cash nearing the 300,000$ range hidden somewhere. The music is primarily instrumental with a couple tracks offering Lino Vairetti's signature vocal style. The music despite being suited for a soundtrack sounds very much like the eclectic OSANNA of the surrounding albums with Danilo Rustici's signature guitar riffing, Elio D'Anna's distinct flute and sax contributions and Massimo Guarino's equally unambiguous drum patterns.

Soundtracks are tricky beasts to rate and review since they are more often than not so inextricably intertwined with the theme and mood of the film in which they appear, so i personally have to have a connection with the music independently since a soundtrack without the film is and should be held up to scrutiny independently. This soundtrack to MILANO CALIBRO 9 certainly does just that. While i have no idea how it fits in to the movie itself, i actually find this one a beautiful listening experience. OSANNA may have fewer rocking moments compared to other albums as this one is very much a trade off of harder rock with symphonic classical orchestrated segments but it works quite successfully. While the classical parts may sound more like a generic soundtrack material, OSANNA more than adds enough of their idiosyncratic take on progressive rock so as to leave no doubt as to who the stars of this show are.

While based in a melodramatic classical style, OSANNA let's loose with raucous heavy rocking guitar and freaked out electronica. There are a number of effects like back masking that are quite effective and the OSANNA type song structures as heard on "L'Uomo" are plentiful. For me this one more than works as a musical statement outside of the context of the film's theme and delivers a very satisfying mix of stellar written tracks that take the approach of "L'Uomo" and create a fully formed fusion with classical soundtrack type score music. Nothing seems forced as the two styles play around together and except for the rather insipid ballad type vocal number "Canzona (There Will Be Time)" which ends the album, i'm actually quite fond of every other track. OSANNA would fizzle out quickly after "Palepoli" but on this one they still flaunt their musical mojo even if they weren't calling all the shots.

siLLy puPPy | 4/5 |


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