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Le Orme - Elementi CD (album) cover


Le Orme


Rock Progressivo Italiano

3.86 | 147 ratings

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2 stars It's really amazing how this album can be seen as a return to form. Which form? A faceless neo-prog form? This album is certainly not in any shape that is even vaguely similar to what Le Orme used to be. This is the sound of a band that has lost its essence and that has to resort to second-rate neo prog clichés to get anything resembling an album together.

The album couldn't possible take a worse start then with the synth kitsch of Danza Del Vento, a cheap chain of humdrum prog formulas with not one decent melody or creative idea to make it work. Really poor. Il Vento gives some hope that it still might turn out for the good. It starts with a gentle poppy sweet melody and a feathery violin that evokes the most peaceful Italian sunset you can imagine. But it doesn't last long. Le Orme have sunk so deep that they've given up their identity and sacrificed the one thing that made them special. They added electric guitars! Now I wouldn't mind guitars if they were inspired, for all I care I'd indulge a 10 minute didgeridoo solo if it inspired the musicians to anything good. But the cheap rock blues platitude of this guitar lead is downright amateur. It must be the most cliché piece of AOR guitar soloing I've heard in ages. The continuation of the song sticks to syrupy pop. And if you needed a refill of the cheesy starter, you will be served with no less then three flavours of it over the course of the menu. I mean album.

I've tried very hard to find anything worthy in this 14 tracks counting disappointment. There are a few flashes of inspiration, but none of them come without any elementary criticism. Danza Della Terra could have been good if it had been recorded in 1972, but coming from 2001 it is pompous and absurd. It also fully exposes the terrible drum sound on this album. Michi Dei Rossi's drums used to create a solid base in Le Orme's 70's sound, but here they are thin and flat, ruined by the reverby production values. Still the song is a rare point of light in this dull display of tasteless synths and pop song writing. Lord of the Dance might be pulled off reasonably well by any young band of neo-proggers but Le Orme sounds so old and tired on it. The same goes for Il Respiro. With Dove tutto è they use a sitar and some more violin. It makes for a good intro. Too bad they spoiled the tension by adding the lacklustre drums.

Elementi is an album that might appeal to fans of neo-prog but it has nothing to do with the Italian Progressive Rock that I've come to appreciate recently. It has none of the imaginative song writing or any of the warm melancholic charm that marked Le Orme's classic output. Avoid. Almost 1 star.

Bonnek | 2/5 |


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