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Reale Accademia Di Musica - Reale Accademia Di Musica  CD (album) cover

REALE ACCADEMIA DI MUSICA

Reale Accademia Di Musica

 

Rock Progressivo Italiano

4.12 | 119 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

jimmy_row
4 stars This one found its way into my hands recently, but it's already formed a nice bond with my ears. Reale Accademia often explore similar territory to that of PFM and sometimes go even "lighter", or more romantic. This one will not be beating you over the head with raw aggression or overt experimentation. It can, however, be said that Reale Accademia are excellent musicians, with heavy focus on composition and a penchant for evoking magnificent images in the listener. If I were to summarize their sound as briefly as possible.it's friendly and colorful.

Reale Accademia were influential early on in the festival scene, predating many bigger groups, but not recording until '72. They existed before as I Fholks, a popular rock group that supported the likes of Hendrix until becoming RAdM with a lineup change (Roberto Senzasono coming in on drums). Fedirico Troiani on keys had the most influence on the band's sound and would go on to be a respected solo artist and producer (I haven't heard any of his stuff though).

"Favola" gives an idea of RAdM's approach from the outset, with innocent acoustic guitar setting up a reserved, haunting lullaby that beckons while pulling away. The vocal approach is childlike (for lack of a better term) and will be throughout the album, in contrast to the often maniacal caterwauling of some Italian prog singers. The bottom line is that, like the Celeste album, the smooth, dreamy vocals work here. "Il Mattino" is one of the showpieces of the album, displaying both Reale Accademia's melancholic disposition as well as their accomplished chops during the lengthy instrumental break. The first couple minutes of wistful melancholy will pull you in before the next section takes you on a vivid piano-led excursion. The original theme comes back and we're all tucked in bed... "Ognuno Sa" is then one of the simple, pleasant dreams that disappears from memory by morning. The arrangement is pleasant enough, but after Il Mattino this track feels rather unspectacular despite another good piano break, this time more upbeat sounding almost like Elton John circa Honky Chateau.

"Padre" is moody and distinguished in a way that feels like it could have been the band's signature track; the intro approaches from a mile away into an urgent guitar solo from which point the track flows up and down with a lot of tension. They actually start to remind me of the Floyd here, keys especially - vintage Rick Wright.somewhere between Saucerful and Dark Side over the last three tracks (.leaving plenty of room there haha). I'm a big fan of the style of guitar playing - psychedelic and bluesy, and with attention given more to the atmosphere than number of notes played; not far removed from the likes of Gilmour, Clapton, Latimer, maybe even a touch of Hendrix. "Lavoro in Citta" begins harsh, with a militant stomp showing Latin influence and what sounds like an evil version of David Gilmour on vocals. It completely shifts gears, though, into another ponderous, psychy-blues daydream. We are treated to vocal harmonies in a beautiful chorus and then a jazzy grove that carries the outtro. "Vertigine", the closing track, is a bit of an oddball on this record while still a good one. This is more in heavy, Hammond organ territory with the likes of Deep Purple and Procol Harum, familiar to many early Italian prog bands as this was popular ground to tread. They pull it off nicely, not sounding derivative and adding enough flare to avoid being second-rate. I would guess that this one partly reflects their earlier sound as "I Fholks"; it will please listeners who enjoy the understated nature of the other tracks but need something punchy to end with.

Unfortunately, being almost a prominent characteristic of Italian prog, Il Reale Accademia di Musica never released a follow-up after such an accomplished and promising debut. They did become a backing band and recorded a couple albums with songwriters but nothing resembling what we have here.

PA rating: 4/5 I have no problem giving this four stars, "Il Mattino" and "Padre" alone are worth having it. Keep in mind that it isn't one of the heavier albums you'll hear from this area, but it will easily appeal to fans of very melodic, symphonic music.

Jimmy Row Factor: B, 7.5/10

jimmy_row | 4/5 |

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