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Reale Accademia Di Musica - Reale Accademia Di Musica CD (album) cover


Reale Accademia Di Musica


Rock Progressivo Italiano

4.10 | 195 ratings

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3 stars Rising from the ashes of popular 60's band I Fholks, two better known second tier RPI bands sprang: L'Uovo Di Colombo and Reale Accademia Di Musica . R.A.M. released their low key eponymous album in 1972.

Opening song Favola sounds like some of the lower energy acoustic material from Nursery Cryme or Trespass, melancholic and very low key piano, acoustic guitar and light mellotron. Il Matino starts to build some steam from a similar slow beginning and starts to get somewhere leading to a spirited romp that must have been a concert barn burner. Electric guitar tries to grab it and take it further, but is generally buried too low in a slightly murky mix. Soon the song returns to a langorous piano/acoustic guitar/vocal with strings to fade out. Bits of an Italian version of Barclay James Harvest are reference points on side one. Oguno Sa starts with a promising and catchy riff, but slips away in favor of an anonymous early 70's pop song that could have come from any number of UK or American radio friendly acts of the era. So far, the excitement level is pretty low barring a good chunk of Il Mattino.

Side two (Padre) begins with a more traditional RPI organ and guitar figure that adds mid tempo drums and starts to build before settling into a slow organ blues (think some of the slower things on Badger's first album). An organ chorale interlude will remind some of a Pink Floyd Echoes/Saucerful of Secrets vibe. Lavoro in Citta starts with promising piano/bass/drums and the first focused use of vocals on the album. (Henryk Topel Cabanes is a talented vocalist that doesn't seem to be running on full power on most of the album.) The song then slides into a lazy mellotron and slow tempo drum and vocal section that could be interpreted by some as 'easy listening'. Sprightly piano riffs then resurrect the mood, and just as the guitar begins to bring that early Floyd vibe in, the song fades out.

The only song that will really please most RPI fans is the closer Vertigine, which opens as if right in the middle of a fairly energetic VDGG song. Topel's restrained vocals don't work as well here, and he pushes himself a bit more than usual but doesn't really cut loose and let it rip. A lower key section brings it back, but drummer Roberto Senzasono keeps slinging quiet bursts underneath instead of his normal simple backbeat, letting one know that they will be back quickly. Heavy organ and guitar dance with bass (with a tad too much reverb) in a burst of real jamming, sounding somewhat like the better rockier moments on Nursery Cryme. And suddenly, it's over. This is a maddening hint of what they are capable of and makes one wish they had a second album to develop further on. Three okay songs out of six is a bit disappointing, and some good ideas never get the development or couldn't organically develop into stronger pieces.

A guest orchestra on two songs doesn't get in the way, and guest mellotron by producer Maurizio Vandelli is unobtrusive (odd since keyboardist Troaiano is listed as also playing mellotron)

Frustrating for the minimal flashes of brilliance quickly getting run over by quieter introspective parts that don't always go anywhere. I don't mind RPI albums that don't have in your face rock flourishes and enjoy pastoral classical RPI when it is rich and complex. R.A.M. really lacks both ends on this: not much heavy, and too low in energy lacking complex arrangements in the quieter bits.

Laid back 1970-1 Pink Floyd mixes with 1970-1 era acoustic Genesis.

Fans of heavy guitar in RPI will find little here, as the guitar seems intentionally mixed low. Fans of early David Gilmour might want to check this out though. Interesting but not essential.

2.5-2.75 stars

Great album cover and decent vinyl repressing on Sony Legacy, as some of the Sony stuff tends to stifle the mix. (their Museo Rosenbach comes to mind) Full disclosure: I've tried really hard to like this album due the general overwhelming support it gets across the board. I even played it twice more after writing this review to see if there was something in thereI was missing. Alas, I couldn't find it.

zeuhl1 | 3/5 |


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