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Quella Vecchia Locanda - Il Tempo della Gioia CD (album) cover


Quella Vecchia Locanda


Rock Progressivo Italiano

4.11 | 344 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

4 stars The second of two creative and sophisticated albums by this band from Rome, its reception was mixed as many did not like the lineup changes (especially the departure/absence of dynamic violin phenom, Donald Lax) but others saw the compositional growth and loved the less crazed, more melodic accessibility of this album over the self-titled debut.

1. "Villa Doria Pamphili" (5:27) beautiful, symphonic, even cinematic music that begins being piano-based and dominated but then turns symphonic with strings. At 1:45 electric bass enters to accompany acoustic guitar for a lone male singer to enter and sing over. At 2:40, with the end of the singer's first verse comes a bombastic RENAISSANCE/Russian-like symphonic bridge and then return to simple acoustic foundation for the second verse. The bombastic Russian section repeats and is prolonged before decaying into a gorgeous solo piano piece for the final 45 seconds. (9.5/10)

2. "A Forma Di" (4:07) opens with quiet, pulsing strings with gentle, almost distant flutes, winds, upper octave piano, and harpsicord "dancing" around. Only very slowly does the background move forward and into full presence and full volume. Definitely conjures up a musical "view" of a religious ceremonial march of rural folk--like a processional of Russian peasant souls from Gogol's Dead Souls. (9.25/10)

3. "Il Tempo Della Gioia" (6:15) interesting music and song structure are betrayed by overall poor sound reproduction as well as flawed vocal and electric guitar performances and choices. (7.5/10)

4. "Un Giorno, un Amico" (9:39) wonderful acoustic intro of piano and violin. The breakout of full-band even goes well (again, the sound and stylings of the English band RENAISSANCE come strongly to mind), as the folk melodies and sounds are well-maintained. Over the course of the first half of the song, the music develops no further than a cabaret-like gypsy folk dance despite some find performances from the violin and piano, but then things shift under the leadership of clarinet. Everything slows down a notch and becomes more jazz lounge-y. Again, it is the emotional sense of melody expressed by the violinist that keeps me engaged--and deeply so. At the seven minute mark vocals join the fray for the first time, followed by an electric guitar solo--both of which fail to impress. Poor, flangy drum sound, too. (17/20)

5. " Accaduto una Notte" (8:16) opens with choral voices singing wordlessly (like the opening and ending sections of PFM's "L'isola de niente") which also fade away leaving a very gentle, spacious pastoral section not unlike some sections of CELESTE's Principe di un giorno or even MAXOPHONE--both of which won't come out for over a year). Musically, this is the most mature, interesting, and fully developed piece on the album. Still poor production of voice and electric instruments, but musically very perfect--brilliantly conceived. This is a piece I'd LOVE to hear re- recorded or performed live. (19/20)

The musical constructs, compositional arrangements, and instrumental performances of this album are incredible-- delicious. Where it falls short is in sound production and vocal performances. When the sounds are acoustic, the engineering team seems to do well; it's with the renderings of the electrical instruments that the music production falls short. Still, I am one of the faction who like this album better than the more bluesy, frenzied debut.

4.5 stars; a near-masterpiece of progressive rock music and a wonderful listening experience for the more acoustic, symphonic approaches to rock music.

BrufordFreak | 4/5 |


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