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Franco Battiato - Pollution CD (album) cover


Franco Battiato


Rock Progressivo Italiano

3.66 | 91 ratings

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3 stars A distinct improvement over "Foetus", "Pollution" does provide continuity both in overall sound and in its thematic priorities in synch with the burgeoning political and ecological concerns of the early 70s. As before, some of the synthesizer beeps and burps sound more dated than those of contemporary English prog, but here he begins to flex his ethnophile muscles in a manner that would come to even greater fruition on his third disk.

One of the main melodic themes is first introduced in "Areknames" and brilliantly carried forward on acoustic piano in "Beta", with a traditional proggy bass backing and eerie vocalizations. While Mario Ellepi's electric guitar is mostly overshadowed by electronic keys, he does make a few appearances including on this track, which is overall the strongest piece on the disk. Link with PELL MELL - Smetana's "Moldau" theme kicks off the opening track and is revisited at the end of "Beta". The blend of acoustic guitar with synthesizers in "Plancton" engineers another hypnotic piece with variations on a theme, but supplemented by Battiato's own sultry voice. The title cut coalesces the acoustic dimension while adding vocal echoes and other effects.

Fascinating in its own right and indisputably groundbreaking, "Pollution" gets the Battiato treatment and ultimately lays out an amorphous path without taking us to a destination. For many, the journey will be all that matters.

kenethlevine | 3/5 |


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