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Le Orme - Contrappunti CD (album) cover


Le Orme


Rock Progressivo Italiano

3.96 | 240 ratings

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4 stars A letdown and yet still very good

How could it not be disappointing? Le Orme were tasked with the nightmare of having to follow-up their masterpiece "Felona e Sorona." After two incredible albums the band made a wise choice to not attempt a duplicate, but to take a risk and try something different. The resulting "Contrappunti" may very well disappoint you if you come to it expecting another Felona. You first notice a disjointed feel as the songs seem less related than the previous conceptual works, and aesthetically they seem to drop the ball with their presentation---rather than the beautiful, iconic artwork that graced the previous two albums, here Orme lays an egg with the album cover. So before the music is even playing you already have a feeling this album may not live up to the previous one, but do hang in there. For while not the finest Orme album in my opinion, it features the usual stellar musicianship and some really great, interesting tracks. After many plays you realize it has its own personality too, a dryer one, a bit more detached, but still an interesting party guest to approach. She comes off as a bit aloof and downbeat until you walk out on the balcony for a cigarette. Watching the smoke swirl in the moonlight you realize how delightful some of these sounds are. It's a charming album after you peel away some layers.

The album starts and ends with superb and dynamic tracks, mostly instrumental jamming with great changes and acrobatic playing. The keys are big and bold and the drumming just amazing, as you'd expect there is wonderful composition. In between these two monster tracks are a few average ones of two varieties. First there is the typical acoustic Orme number with a pleasing melodic guitar and those warm, lovely vocals. Second there are some deliberate keyboard experimentations in "Aliante," a bit funky and definitely very quirky. Then there is an unlikely favorite called "Notturno," a very slow and deliberate piano progression, fascinating, after each line the piano is answered briefly by another key, then calls back with a slightly different line that the previous. It is moody and beguiling, a musical siren song. "Contrappunti" should not be your first Orme album, you should definitely start with the two albums that precede it. But if you enjoy those you should appreciate this one as well, even if it takes a bit more time. Not a 4 star album for me personally, but closer to 4 stars than to 3 so I have to round up. It's also an album which sounds very good for its time, so have no worries about the production issues that sometimes crop up on classic period Italian releases.

Finnforest | 4/5 |


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