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


Reale Accademia Di Musica


Rock Progressivo Italiano

4.14 | 171 ratings

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Italian Prog Specialist
4 stars 1972 was in many ways a golden year for the Italian Symphonic Rock movement, with titles such as Storia Di Un Minuto and Per Un Amico from PFM, Bancos's debut plus Darwin! and Le Orme's Uomo Di Pezza. Bands and albums that are familiar if not by nature, surely by name to many proggers out there, all seen as perhaps the most representative of their particular sub-genre.

But 1972 is also the year that spawned Reale Accademia Di Musica's self-titled first album, after being successful on the Italian festival scene under this name and I Fholks for a while. Perhaps that makes this album even more interesting in the discussion of pioneering efforts of this movement.

What this album presents the listener is predominantly a very lush symphonic landscape, with soaring Mellotron strings and various keys together with an earthier blues-rock touch in a mellow Atomic Rooster and Deep Purple area. Don't expect to hear clear influences from those bands, it's just to categorise parts of the sound in something with substance. Not always an easy task, believe me. It's heavy on piano, based around the piano on some tracks - acoustic and electric - and in my eyes that's always a good sign, adding delicacy and poignancy like no other similar instrument, and it really is the albums big bonus.

It's no surprise that many reviews mention the similarity to PFM, or more precisely the earlier PFM, with regards to the sweet romantic melodies and becoming melancholy. Vocals are very pleasing, never really grasping for either emotional highs or lows, which has different prospects for different people. But where PFM aims for more grandeur on Storia Di Un Minuto (which I consider closest to RADM), this is in many ways a more down-to-earth AND a more spacey album (and also stripped from the clearer classical influences of PFM). Instead of choosing one, why don't take both and place it on top of the omnipresent symphonic properties? The down-to-earth part is pretty self-evident, with the blues-rockier approach on both structure and instruments (especially the guitarist presents some rather familiar licks) that can be found on songs like Vertigine and Padre. Ognuno Sa also has a slight boogie-feeling to it, contributed almost exclusively by the piano. The spacious bits and pieces are a little harder to explain. But on Favola and Il Mattiono and then scattered around the other songs are quite lengthy parts with a clear and crisp not to say dreamy and distant, quality to them. These are what thrill me the most; exciting, enticing and inviting in a strangely beautiful way.

I'd say three tracks affect me more than the rest: Favola, Il Mattino and Padre. With a sensitive, hypnotizing guitar in that indescribable Mediterranean style, Favola is a mellow and relaxing tune, with a dreamy interlude from the keys in the middle. Comforting, and yet deeply sinister, it evokes a mildly unpleasant uncertainty I find irresistible.

Il Mattino is the killer track here, beginning with another crisp and soothing display, this time lead by a melodic piano. And then it just explodes. Distinct build-up from bass and drums with an escalating tone from the keys, it soon turns into a fest of crescendo after crescendo, a tsunami of musical energy with the piano riding on its top. Unstoppable as it might seem, it suddenly.just stops, falling back into a reprise of the dreamy first part. A powerful example of how important structure is when making music of any kind.

Repeating a theme from the keys over and over again, a slow, yearning and slightly darker build up from the rest of the instruments launches Padre. Guitar-driven and tense, it has a certain Dazed and Confused vibe to it from time to time and leaves a lot of space for keys-induced atmosphere and plenty of emotions. A song that just works on many levels.

Pleasant, lush and melodic and not particularly challenging are the keywords for yet another Italian success. If not for the band, at least for us listeners.

Heartily recommended. 4 stars.


LinusW | 4/5 |


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