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Itoiz - Alkolea CD (album) cover




Prog Folk

3.37 | 26 ratings

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Prog-Folk Team
2 stars In between "Ezekiel" and "Alkolea", it would seem that Itoiz spent too much time listening to Supertramp, and their effort suffers as a consequence. Primarily they adopt Supertramp's dogged insistence on milking a mildly good idea until it is more than spent, and heaping repetitive oh's and ah's and na's on top of it in a vain effort to sound hip. This can be heard in the poor opener but also mars "Ixilik Egon Hadi...Ixiliki!" and ""Herri Neurak", both of which could have been far better without those "embellishments".

The delicate balance of consistently strong material broken, "Alkolea" has a few other significant problems, like the runaway "Hire Bideak" which further acts against any cohesion even if it shows some potential and hot playing. Both "Lanbrora" and "Marilyn" are relatively dull tracks that are the not the equal of anything on "Ezekiel", reminding me at turns of James Taylor or Janis Joplin. The disappearance of female vocals, the harsher and overdone lead guitars, and the general lack of textural quality make "Alkolea" a disappointment.

To be fair, "Errotaberri" and "Eroa Nazan" are both top shelf. Here the melodies and lyricism are sparkling, and seem to blend the best of both of the previous two albums. "Errotaberri" is enhanced by string like keys and here the lead guitars and saxes suit the music much better. The bass and organs on "Eroa Nazan" play to the group's strengths.

While "Ezekiel" seems to sparkle whenever unleashed, "Alkolea" actually sounds like a much less talented and focused sibling, and seems the worse for wear. Without the unbroken string of fine songs working together as one, this is just a very uneven collection. 2.5 stars, rounded down.

kenethlevine | 2/5 |


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