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Triana - Una Historia CD (album) cover

UNA HISTORIA

Triana

 

Symphonic Prog

3.64 | 6 ratings

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tszirmay
Special Collaborator
Crossover Team
3 stars Not being a big fan of compilation albums in general ("greatest hits" is even worse! I often call it "grating misfits"! ), mainly because I see prog recordings as entities somewhat similar to books where there is a story unfolding musically, I shudder at the thought of reviewing the few compilations I possess. Triana's Una Historia is a different kettle of fish in that the first CD encompasses the early, symphonic period from 1979 to 1980, before this legendary Spanish band veered like so many other prog bands into more commercial pop rock ventures (PFM, Oldfield, Yes etc?) which is presented on the weaker second CD. So the first disc is where one will find all the fiery hispano-passion that makes this band so interesting, choice tracks taken from El Patio, Hijos del Abogio and Sombra Y Luz, a progressive trilogy of albums that will surely gratify the avid exploratory ear. There are traces of what was coined as flamenco rock mainly due to the hearty handclaps, impassioned vocals and fleet acoustic guitar passages but known in prog circles as Prog Andaluz . This comp kicks off tremendously with tracks such as "En El Lago", the splendid "Luminosa Manana" and the extended "Abre la Puerta" infuse hefty amounts of olive oil organ, saffron synths, pimiento piano and mezquita mellotron into the sonic paella, while leaving enough room for some soaring electric guitar solos from Eduardo Rodriguez , strong drumming and inspired instrumental workouts. The Spanish lyrics are expressive bold cries from the heart (as one would expect from such a proud country), with that undeniable Andalucia vibe that has hints of Moorish culture so prevalent in the south of Spain. Jesus de la Rosa has a warm expressive voice that enthralls and captivates. The next 4 pieces are from the second album Hijos del Agobio, very much in the same vein as their debut, featuring the charismatic "Rumor", the enthralling electric guitar-spun title track, the briefly savory "Sr. Troncoso" and the romantic ballad "Sentimientos de Amor". The handclapping only supports the mental applause as this is terrific and original music especially when you understand the lyrics which I fortunately do. The loopingly intense "Una Historia" and the playful "Quiero Contarte" are both from their third album and both feature wicked axe solos that ultimately send this musical armada into the glorious mists of legend. A five star disc One bar none, not a weak track to be found. 5 estrellas sevillanas. Olé!

Disc 2 is where the "el dorado" conquistadors turn into "peseta" popstars, preferring to overtake the Spanish charts and live accordingly the enchanted dream , a very obvious detour away from their creative prog influences and the results are predictable , mostly in terms of composition (way shorter tracks) and instrumental prowess (no more extended leads). The songs are culled from the next 3 albums (Un Encuentro, Triana and Llegó el Dia) and while still interesting, the creative sheen is now fading, soon to be gone. "Tu Frialdad" has an almost reggae rhythm guitar riff and some breezy vocals that contrast largely with earlier efforts but does include a luminous axe solo, crystalline and fragile as the title implies. "Un Nido en Mi Ventana" is mainly acoustic guitar and voice, not really interesting for progmadmen. "Cae Fina la LLuvia" is a bluesy exercise with wooing backing vocals and loping drums, a woozy too short electric guitar and a predictable lead vocal. Love the title on the next one (A night of desperate love!) but again, the mood here is closer to standard blues-rock with a smooth attitude but makes me feel like the condom is more vital than the lover! The "tchakatchak" tropical guitar riff is another giveaway that this is way too polished and deliberate. Carlos Santana could have done a way more expressive job here (with one of his patented whopping solos!). Both "Un Mal Sueno" and "Corre" are rather insipid affairs with lead guitar work that has little spunk and a jaunty attitude that is simply disposable. The horrible "Desnuda la Manana" is revolting, so please skip altogether. Not surprisingly, only two tracks are worthy of mention on this second disc, the 7 minute + "De Una Nana Siendo Nino" (still sloppy on occasion but does have some nice moments) and the 13 minute compilation closer , the half-decent "Llego el Dia" with its rather obvious Procol Harum influences.

This second volume of Triana's history is meritorious of 2 stars. Their further recording output will not improve over the initial trilogy. In all, a 3.5 rating urges one to concentrate only on those first three jewels.

tszirmay | 3/5 |

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