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Quella Vecchia Locanda - Quella Vecchia Locanda CD (album) cover


Quella Vecchia Locanda


Rock Progressivo Italiano

4.13 | 297 ratings

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Italian Prog Specialist
3 stars Rough around the edges and filled with spontaneous, infectious bursts of energy, Quella Vecchia Locanda's first album easily finds a place in your heart if that's what does it for you, musically speaking. At first it almost felt too unpolished, as if some of the songs were put together mostly on a whim; lacking in smooth transitions and natural mood-shifts. Thankfully, after a dozen or more listens, that criticism still remains, but the fantastic music has been given a proper chance to grow.

Unfortunately, this is one of those rare albums that just doesn't reach me on an emotional level, even though it has all the characteristics for it. The only reasonable explanation I can think of is the fact that much of it feels very slightly familiar. Almost every spin of it have revealed new passages, breaks or moments where I can swear I've heard almost the exact thing before. Most of these moments actually originate outside of RPI, from all over the prog spectrum. While initially mostly funny, it now somehow alienates me from the record. Paranoia? Perhaps. But it sure consumes some of the originality for me.

It is an interesting and varied blend of all the characteristics of RPI, I cannot deny that. Stating that this is one of the most representative albums of them all isn't much of an exaggeration. There are the abundant classical influences, folky touches, inspired vocals and warm keys. On top of that also an interesting rhythm section with a skilfully played, more melodic bass and great flute and emotional violin work. Just as many other early albums playing this kind of music, much of the heavier influences are still there. Definitely more hard-rocking than what the poster names PFM, Banco and Le Orme come across on their biggest albums. It adds spice to the mix, a quality that makes this album interesting for people with a broader taste of music, who not necessarily think RPI is a sub-genre for them. Some songs almost come across as some kind of contemporary pop-rock, reaching its peak in the often eerily Babe I'm Gonna Leave You-like RealtÓ.

The more I listen to this album, the more I feel that it can be broke down in four distinct pieces. The hard 'n' heavy guitar and rhythm-carried parts, the Tull-ish folk-jazz blend with flute, the pastoral and delicate classical arrangements and finally the best part of it all; where it all forms a consistent whole. I'd want more of that fusion to be really happy with this album. Too often are these individually excellent parts just that.alone. One follows after another without interfering with each other, making many of the songs feel scattered. This might come across as a little stingy, but this is what keeps me from enjoying the album fully, even with the many pros considered. When these different parts diffuse in to each other in an original way, those moments aren't far from the masterpiece zone.

Recommended for discovering many of the characteristics of the genre. 3 stars.


LinusW | 3/5 |


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