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Celeste - Celeste II CD (album) cover

CELESTE II

Celeste

 

Rock Progressivo Italiano

3.14 | 44 ratings

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UMUR
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars "II" is the 2nd full-length studio album by Italian progressive rock act Celeste. The album was released through M.M. Records Productions in 1991. The original release features 4 relatively lengthy tracks, but a 1993 reissue by Mellow Records titled "Second Plus" adds quite a few bonus tracks to the album, making it a 12 track, 71:18 minutes long release. The tracks on the 1991 version of album were recorded at Perrino Studio, Sanremo (Spring-Summer 1976). The 1991 version was limited to 300 vinyl copies. Iīm not sure the additional material from the 1993 version of the album were all recorded during the same time period, but most of the those tracks seem a little unfinished, and in some cases they still appear to be in a demo state (some of those tracks are demo parts of the longer tracks). Actually all the material on the album have an unpolished and jam like nature to it, which makes sense since (at least the four longer tracks), where recorded in 1976 shortly before Celeste disbanded in 1977, and were probably demos of material, which would have appeared on their sophomore album, had such as thing been released in the 70s.

Those familiar with Celesteīs eponymously titled debut album from 1976 (also known under the title "Principe di un Giorno"), will know that itīs a mellow, intriguing, and subdued progressive rock album, featuring a consistent flow and atmosphere. Thatīs not exactly the case with this sophomore album though, which is a bit more diverse in style. While there are still plently of soft mellotron moments ("Il Giardino Armonico" and "Lontano profondo" are for example deluxe mellotron heaven), beautiful acoustic guitars, flute and saxophone, many of the tracks sound like either short unfinished jams, or longer jams. Celeste even break out of their comfort zone and play some jazz rock/fusion styled tracks. So does that make for at consistent listen? No not really...but itīs still a pretty interesting release, loaded with creative ideas, which unfortunately ended up not fully developed. The recording quality is also a bit up and down, as some of the tracks are obviously demos while others are studio recordings, but itīs actually less disrupting for the flow of the album than it could have been, but that ultimately boils down to the high quality of the material. You canīt keep quality down, even with a murky demo sound quality (which really isnīt as bad sounding, as it may sound).

So upon conclusion "II" is more a compilation of rare and unreleased material than an actual studio album with tracks recorded for this particular release. It does have the effect that itīs an inconsistent album and a diverse listen, which could confuse some listeners, and I wouldnīt recommend starting your Celeste journey here. Still there are enough quality tracks and ideas here to warrant a 3.5 star (70%) rating in my book, and it speaks volumes of how great Celeste were in the 70s, when an unfinished product can still be this interesting.

UMUR | 3/5 |

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