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Alameda - Ilusiones CD (album) cover

ILUSIONES

Alameda

 

Symphonic Prog

2.00 | 1 ratings

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ClemofNazareth
Special Collaborator
Prog Folk Researcher
2 stars This is the second studio album released by the reformed Alameda in the 1990s. The band had at that time been inactive for more than a decade, and I’m not completely sure why they got back together. I’ve not come across any of the other 90s albums, but don’t think it would be a stretch to assume they are at least somewhat similar to this one. Like their 1981 release ‘Aire Cálido de Abril’, the band’s direction continues in a slightly more commercial vein and certainly a less progressive one than their first two well-received recordings which were more along the lines of Triana and other progressive folk Andalusian bands.

The flamenco influences are less pronounced here except with a few songs such as “Complice” and “Rosa Y Violeta”; and the arrangements include synthesized strings along with usually subtle acoustic guitar fingering that is always exquisite (something that barely needs stating when it comes to Spanish music in general). As with their earlier music, vocals play a key role, and guitarist José Roca is prominent and at the front of virtually every track here with his singing, if not with guitar work. This is true even on songs such as “La Guitarra” where you would think the instrument would take center stage.

I can’t say there are any standout tracks anywhere on the album; like their 1981 release all the songs here are mellow, easygoing and emotive. At times the folk influences are at the forefront (“Tu Mano”, “Medianoche”, “Campanas De Mediodia”). Elsewhere the band leans fairly strongly in a popular music direction, particularly on the opening “Luna” and the lively “Rosa Y Violeta”. It is only at the very end of the record that the group seems to decide to slow down and hearken back to their early days as an adventurous progressive band; the closing “Aires de la Alameda” and “Amanecer en el Puerto” are full of keyboards flights of fancy, intricate acoustic guitar and majestic synthesized orchestral sounds (or at least some strings), as well as energetic rhythms and the occasional electric guitar riff. These are easily the two more memorable tracks on the album.

I wrote a while back of the band’s ‘Aire Cálido de Abril’ album that I wasn’t sure it even qualified as progressive music. For the most part the same is true of this record. The last two songs are the redeeming qualities, and while none of these tracks are necessarily bad, neither are any of them among the band’s finest work. This isn’t a particularly hard CD to find, so for progressive folk and especially Andalusia fans it is probably worth seeking out; but for most prog folk fans there isn’t much here to hold their attention. I considered rating this at three stars, but considering the statement above I think two is the right amount. Recommended to fans of the band and to fans of modern Spanish folk, but not really to anyone else.

peace

ClemofNazareth | 2/5 |

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