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Le Orme - Collage CD (album) cover

COLLAGE

Le Orme

 

Rock Progressivo Italiano

3.82 | 218 ratings

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LinusW
Special Collaborator
Italian Prog Specialist
4 stars I'm not going to go with the flow with this album.

Uomo Di Pezza and Felona E Sorona might be the albums that get most praise and attention from people familiar with or people discovering Le Orme, but for me Collage stands out as the best of what I've heard from the band to this date. Perhaps lacking the refinement, keyboard bombast and full-fledged fusion of styles that many crave for labelling something as genuinely proggy as the "masterpieces" of the band, Collage's strength lies in its happy and fearless nosedive into unknown territory (moving from a decidedly lighter style in a very short time, joining (perhaps starting?) the rising RPI style and movement in a most excellent way).

Sometimes the classical arrangements are spread out too thin, sometimes too thick in this first attempt at the genre, creating a rougher and bumpier outline to it all. No wonder then that many would find that a point worthy of criticism, but on the other hand it gives the album a variation of weight, style and emotion that is harder to find on the more uniform big albums. Both Uomo Di Pezza and Felona E Sorona suffers from a pounding keyboard heaviness from time to time - merciless organ and veiling effects have a way of hindering the other ingredients of the music reaching full bloom (sometimes the case with ELP as well).

Another interesting ingredient on Collage is the fact that the past is still very much present next to the classical excesses - downright catchy sixties-rock parts that surprisingly don't create much friction considering what they're crammed in between. Tony Pagliuca is an excellent keyboardist, often adding just the amount of keyboard beauty (especially when behind the piano; for me unmatched in beauty when discussing keys - the Mellotron is a strong rival though) that is needed to lubricate the differences in style of the album. Morte De Un Fiore is just one excellent example of blending these different ways of being melodic into a successful brand of music.

Even if it's hard to say just why, I definitely consider Collage a very interesting album, not only because that its weaknesses with time proves to be its greatest strengths, but also due to the fact that it is a truly balanced effort after all. Instrumentally balanced. It is prog which can be described as genuine prog-ROCK. If that is good or bad is up to the listener. Personally I think it provides the album with a freshness, drive and stable foundation that I've missed in the other album of the band, even though they are good in their own way. Aldo Tagliapietra's voice is as sweet and beautiful as ever, he's bass playing is solid and propulsive and the music isn't kept on a leash - it sure wanders off now and then for the sake of discovery, but always returns to the able hands of its masters and creators. Just as it should be.

4 stars.

//LinusW

LinusW | 4/5 |

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