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Il Paese Dei Balocchi - Il Paese dei Balocchi CD (album) cover


Il Paese Dei Balocchi


Rock Progressivo Italiano

3.76 | 129 ratings

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5 stars The fairly brief golden era of Rock Progressivo Italiano - - in the early 70's -- was full of bands that made only one album without receiving much of attention at the time. Il Paese dei Balocchi ("The Land of Toys") has deservedly found its way among the later found 'lost classics'. The group was founded in Rome in 1971. Two of the members came from the band Under 2000, which released a couple of singles.

The eponymous album is a unique representative of RPI, starting from the unusually large portion of the instrumental approach. The opener dominated by electric guitar and organ is the most rocking piece, but for the most the rather dark-toned album contains so delicate sound tapestry that a less concentrated listener may lose the grip.

Despite lyrics and vocals being very sparse here, in this case I really feel sorry for not understanding Italian, because the album seems to have a deep and intelligent concept dealing with humanity. There are track titles with meanings such as The Victory of Selfishness, A Song of Hope (the movingly sad sounding song 'Canzone della Speranza'), etc.

The art music influences, ie. the arrangements that create orchestral impressions, are far from the Baroque orientation of I New Trolls or Il Rovescio Della Medaglia (and their collaborator Luis Bacalov), instead Il Paese dei Balocchi stays in somewhat restricted, delicate expression, which is exactly what makes the album enigmatic and almost mysterious. For example the nearly 8-minute 'Evasione' could be described as dark ambient and its hypnotic atmosphere, in this whole album actually, has something in common with the Aphrodite's Child classic album 666 released in the same year.

In the end of the album there's again more solid 'rock' sound with Hammond organ but still with an esoteric flavour. The band made some demos for a second album but collapsed in 1974. This album is surely not the easiest to get into, but it's one of the most magical RPI gems of the era.

Matti | 5/5 |


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