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Franco Battiato - Sulle Corde Di Aries CD (album) cover


Franco Battiato


Rock Progressivo Italiano

4.09 | 109 ratings

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3 stars Battiato evolved throughout the 70s and beyond, such that even those who do not count themselves fans have great respect for his creative spirit. While it may be difficult for all but the most eclectic of music students to appreciate some of his late 70s releases, "Sulle Corde di Aries" is a transitional work that sees him stepping beyond the admittedly lax confines of "Pollution" while remaining somewhat accessible. It also is the first to overtly reflect his growing interest in middle eastern influences, and world music in general, at a time when these genres were more than buzzwords.

Based on its date of release (1973), this album appears to have influenced prog artists more than vice versa, particularly krautrock as well as electronic like TANGERINE DREAM and BRIAN ENO, and later comers like RICCARDO ZAPPA. The side long epic that kicks things off is the least penetrable, as it mesmerizes non stop for nearly it's entire 16 minutes. The predominant instrument here and elsewhere s the African kalimba, which is impossible to miss even as it is shrouded in the remaining mix that includes classical implements. The synthesizers are less confounded by gimmickry than on "Pollution", and Battiato adopts more of a devotional chanted style not without similarities to ALAN STIVELL on his landmark "Reflets". My personal favourites are the two closers, which are more concise variations on the themes introduced earlier and in which the cellos and the resplendent Arabic melodies are more pronounced. "Da Oriente a Occidente" is especially rewarding.

As it is easier to trace a lineage from rather than to Mr Battiato on this remarkable work, it deserves a higher rating than his prior albums, but I'm still torn about rounding up, because the entertainment quotient remains middling in the first half, so a bullish 3 stars is all I can offer.

kenethlevine | 3/5 |


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