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L' Uovo di Colombo - L'Uovo Di Colombo CD (album) cover


L' Uovo di Colombo


Rock Progressivo Italiano

3.72 | 107 ratings

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2 stars I decided to take a break from my series of Uriah Heep reviews by listening to one or two RPI albums and this one was sitting handily on the shelf next to the UK heavy rockers' discs. Strangely enough some of the organ registers on this disc remind me of Ken Hensley's Hammond playing. The other obvious reference point for this band is ELP, as highlighted in other PA reviews. There is something of a similarity with ELP but much of L'Uovo Di Colombo has a psychedelic pop orientation. It almost sounds like two different bands recorded this album. Just out of interest, the album title (in English: Columbus' Egg) is an anecdotal saying that is popular in some Southern European countries. It refers to Columbus' discovery of America, and how he challenged a group of Spanish nobles to stand an egg on its end in order to demonstrate that a discovery or challenge is only easy once it has already been achieved.

This album features in the Italian Prog website's top 20. Now I own all but one of these discs and I honestly don't know what L'Uovo Di Colombo is doing in such exalted company. I'm not criticising Augusto's selection in his top 20; I simply don't rate this album myself. I despaired for this album after listening to the first couple of tracks. L'Indecisione starts off in a psyche groove with organ, before piano takes up the melody quickly followed by some twanging guitar. After a couple of verses of the song there are organ solos employing different timbres. String synth introduces a mellow interlude before a nice drum fill leads into a fast-paced section with Emersonian organ and a bit of Moog. Ok, so far this isn't so bad but during the last few seconds I'll swear I can hear a didgeridoo! Check it out. The next track starts with some really cheesy organ and the song itself sounds like a Eurovision Song Contest entry. I don't know if non-Europeans will be familiar with this competition but hopefully they'll get my point. However track 3, Anja, is more like the real deal. It features lovely Italian vocals, soothing organ, a gentle touch of Moog and a graceful melody. I like this song! It's one of those songs where you immediately press the repeat button on your sound system. Nice. Vox Dei is another goody. It begins with heavy organ and stomping piano and there are definite shades of ELP here. Enzo Volpini's fingers make some nimble runs down the keyboard manual, matched by the rhythm section to good effect. Once the song gets under way with Toni Gionta's vocals it seems a tad too light and airy compared with the dramatic opening, but that's just me being picky. There's a fast jazzy section just before the end that adds further interest to the track.

Just when things were picking up we get the instrumental Turba, another track with tacky sonics. The first couple of minutes are just about bearable, but then there's this keyboard that sounds like a child's toy. Seriously, I think I can remember this thing that kid's played with in the '70s but I can't remember its name. I don't know if this is the band's idea of a musical joke but I ain't amused. The guitar is pretty lame as well; in fact this track is a complete cheese-fest. Consiglio has a melody very similar to Vox Dei and features some nice synth and psychedelic guitar. Visione Della Morte begins as a gorgeous acoustic ballad, similar in style to Le Orme's Frutto Acerbo. However, it quickly turns into a psyche jam complete with drum solo. The return of the main theme on synth then introduces a solo piano section, joined by flute-effects that bring the track to a close. This song contains some nice themes that could have been realised to greater effect. As it stands it's something of a hotchpotch of musical ideas. The final piece is the 22-second Scherzo, an odd end to an odd album.

I hate to be the dissenting voice where this album is concerned. It does contain some good songs but some truly awful ones counterbalance these. I would certainly advise newcomers to RPI to tread carefully here. This album is comparatively rare so you may have to shell out big bucks to buy a copy. It's not a complete turkey but there's so much better stuff out there. For anyone looking for some ELP-tinged RPI then Rustichelli & Bordini's excellent Opera Prima is well worth seeking out. For a more psychedelic sound I would suggest Panna Fredda's Uno.

seventhsojourn | 2/5 |


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