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Jumbo - Vietato Ai Minori Di 18 Anni ? CD (album) cover




Rock Progressivo Italiano

4.11 | 138 ratings

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Cesar Inca
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars This is Jumbo's third and last recording in the 70s; "Vietato ai Minori di 18" is also their most accomplished effort, an outstanding specimen of the harder side of Italian symphonic prog. As in their preceding release "DNA", this album is pretty much based upon a mixture of folkish sensitiveness and blues-rock fiery approach, with an amalgam of extended jamming and multicolored compositions providing the progressive essence to the band's musical style. The overall sound is not as rough as in "DNA", but nevertheless, the band sounds stronger, somewhat heavier. What happens here is that the augmented energy has been cleverly recycled through an air of sophistication brought by a more diverse instrumentation: mellotron and synths (Franco Battiato guests on VCS 3 in some numbers) are added in the mix, together with the sixtro - a Renaissance string instrument -, and some extra percussion. The compositions are more complex, too, so the level of symphonic bombast feels quite impressive, particularly in tracks 1, 2, 4 & 6. All four of them are full of mood shifts, links between diverse motifs, and that peculiar emotional drive common to many Italian bands - such as Delirium, RRR, Osanna, De De Lind -. Fella's lead voice remains as harsh as always, but thanks to the amplified sophistication in the arrangements and instrumentation, it doesn't feel as overwhelming as before. On the other hand, how can the listener forget his sudden irruption at the very start of the stunning opener 'Specchio'? - undoubtedly, he is one of the most charismatic Italian prog vocalists from the 70s. His fellow members work as a well oiled unit: Conte's well-defined keyboard parts, Guidotti's multi- functionality (flute, acoustic guitar, harmonica), and Gargano's solid bass work lay on a strong scheme for Jumbo's music, providing room for Guidotti's electric guitar leads and Granatello's jazz driven drumming. The foundation of a stylistic unity throughout the repertoire proves both effective and appropriate, since this is actually a concept album revolving around some of the most urgent taboos (sexuality, madness, free thinking, sin) which struggle to linger on despite being constantly alienated by society's basic norms: that explains the somber nature of almost all tracks. However, the closure 'No!' exudes an unmistakable air of ironic joy, something like a celebration of the marginal's freedom, as if that freedom were a reward in itself, as if the marginal was having the last laugh at the system that always tries to oppress and/or ignore them - perhaps an open window of optimism amongst all this fear created by the watchdogs of morals? Another number that I find particularly impressive is 'Gil', an ethereal piece wrapped in a psychedelic ambience built on mellotron layers, synth effects, and ethnic percussion, which sounds to me like a walk around the foggy parks of limbo. Overall impression: a great addition to any good prog collection.
Cesar Inca | 4/5 |


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