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Marco Ragni - The Wandering Caravan CD (album) cover

THE WANDERING CARAVAN

Marco Ragni

 

Psychedelic/Space Rock

3.74 | 40 ratings

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FragileKings
Prog Reviewer
4 stars Marco Ragni is a bit young to be a child of the flower power years but that has never stopped him from keeping the music of those years close to his heart. His 2018 release "The Wandering Caravan" is a prime example of his devotion to the music of the late sixties and early seventies. But Marco is not one to simply attempt to resurrect the past. Marco's music seems to have come exactly from those days and is then filtered through Marco's magnificent brain.

The album begins with a bird's call and footsteps outside before a psychedelic acoustic guitar makes us want to just lie back and chill, letting the notes carry us into our minds. Then abruptly, the whole band drops in with a wham and now we're on an electric ride. With barely a proper warning, the music halts and permits some strumming of an acoustic guitar. At last now we here the lyrics to "What We have Done in the Past We'll Be in the Future," the first track of the album. It's an 11:25 song that delivers thought-provoking lyrics, followed by an exciting psychedelic rock passage with organ and electric guitar solos. Take note of the saxophone in the song, too. This track is an excellent introduction to the album and you can expect more of this kind of music.

"Waiting On the Threshold" begins with some thoughtful piano and singing, but at the line "And I saw that all is not lost," the music is given over to a clean electric guitar that wanders with a bass guitar into 1969 and searches absentmindedly for meaning until Marco comes back to gives us more singing, accompanied by flute. Then more of this psychedelic guitar, soaring and diving.

Before long, my impression of this album is that we are listening to poetry set to music and music set to poetry. It's like each song is part of a series of related thoughts. The music keeps changing and delivering different themes but there's an overall cohesive atmosphere. As if to confirm this, at least twice a track will reference a bit of music from a previous track. It's also interesting to note how sparse yet profound the music can be during some of Marco's poetic illustrations in the lyrics while at other times, during the instrumental passages, the music can be more fluid and adventurous.

This is not just an album for lying back and relaxing to. The music will tell you that the lyrics demand to be heard and weighed. As such, this is no light listening if one is to become fully absorbed. There's little in the way of catchy hooks and sing-a-long melodies. This is more of a journey through the thoughts of a man considering his and our place in life and time. Meanwhile, hints of Pink Floyd, Jefferson Airplane, and others emerge here and there.

As an interesting aside, this album was way up near the top of the PA Top 100 of 2018 back on June 18th of this year. Listeners seem to agree that this album has its share of magic.

FragileKings | 4/5 |

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