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Le Orme - Uomo Di Pezza CD (album) cover

UOMO DI PEZZA

Le Orme

 

Rock Progressivo Italiano

4.23 | 475 ratings

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Negoba
Prog Reviewer
4 stars Classic Prog Keyboard Extravaganza

Le Orme's Uomo Di Pezza is the first RPI album I purchased, and in many ways it represents the prototype of the genre for me. This is not inappropriate, as all of the classic elements are here: romantic themes, soaring melodic Italians vocals, and heavy classical influence. The instrumental makeup is a power trio a la ELP, with vocalist Aldo Tagliapietra handling bass and occasional acoustic rhythm guitar duties, strong drumming provided by Michi Dei Rossi, but the music is mainly dominated by the keyboards of Toni Pagliuca.

The overall sound of this album is much more pastoral than ELP, however. The introductory two songs are quite soft, the first dominated by piano and the second by strumming guitar, both carried by pleasant swaying melodies and a slightly medieval flavor. Though I am normally a fan of organic music sounds, this album is a prime example of keyboards raising good music to excellent. The best example is track 3 "La Porta Chiusa." Starting with aggressive synths and then opening up into a simple dark organ line supporting the vocal, the song then switches into classic prog synth work and certainly ups the sense of risk. Track 4 is a short, mellotron-heavy piece evoking some of KC's classic moments. But the band is best when the Moog is in the forefront. The variety of synth sounds on the record are astounding, always adding to the music, and astonishingly tasty. On track 6, we get some spacey, almost Floydian sounds interspersed with arpeggiated guitar and a riff a little reminiscent of Led Zep's "No Quarter." The closer "Alienazione" is another dark, intense work that leaves this listener wanting more.

The songs here are solid, and the rhythm playing very good. But the soundscapes propel this album, the feel and timbre of the instruments, especially the keys. I sometimes wish the band had spent more musical space darker and riskier, but instead they chose to vary the emotion between songs. Certainly this is a valid and musical choice, and this band displays a remarkable sense of good taste, never over-reaching or extending their explorations too long. I respect the selection even if my tastes run a little different than the offering.

Lovers of classic prog keys will delight in this album. I enjoy it quite a bit more than the aforementioned ELP. I personally also prefer some other RPI albums to this one owing to wider instrumentation and more complex composition / songwriting. Nonetheless, it is still excellent, an excellent addition to any collection.

Negoba | 4/5 |

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