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Granada - España, Año 75 CD (album) cover

ESPAÑA, AÑO 75

Granada

 

Symphonic Prog

3.90 | 44 ratings

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Cesar Inca
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars With its wiser sonic architecture and a more inspired compositional drive in comparison with the promising debut album, Granada's sophomore effort "España Año 75" installs a proper maturation of Carlos Cárcamo's musical vision. It is from this album onwards that we can properly point out Granada as a major name in Spain's progressive rock for the 70s. Since this album was released in 1976, the title can be interpreted as a humorous allusion to remembrances of a near past time, and the specific title of the suite that fills the album's first half, 'El Calor Que Pasamos Este Verano' ('The Heat We Experienced Last Summer'), enhances this spirit of instant nostalgia for good, funny times that have just passed us by. This suite has 4 sections, with the first one, entitled 'Por Dónde Andamos', providing a magnificent exhibition of symphonic prog with abundant folkloric flourishes and added spacey ornaments. It really starts things on a high note, and so section 2 'Todo Hubiera Sido Tan Bueno' slows down things a little bit and adds certain jazzy nuances to the rhythmic scheme. The soft and well-structured melodic warmth that takes place here is somewhat related to the Mediterranean feel we come to expect also from many Italian symphonic bands. Section 3, entitled 'La Auténtica Canción Del Verano', spices things up in order to state a similar dynamics to that we found in section 1: the cosmic synth solo helps to enhance the most extroverted passages, while the sax solo (guest Jorge Pardo doing an excellent Mel Collins personification) enters during a semi-funky excerpt. The last section 'No Me Digas Bueno, Vale' perpetuates the previous one's dynamics and right away expands on its rockier edge: the opening dual guitar solo is just splendid, while the electric piano flourishes that emerge afterwards provide a moment of Arabic/Flamenco colors. The final jam is catchy enough as to preserve the listener's attention throughout its repetitive cadenza. The album's second half starts with 'Septiembre', a piece with dominantly tranquil moods whose melancholic atmospheres remain a constant elements throughout the motif variations, even in those motifs in which the sonic framework turns a bit livelier. By the way, the final section (that sounds like a mixture of Le Orme and Jethro Tull) is one of the most magical moments in the album? and its weird ending makes it even more special. 'Noviembre Florido' brings a lighter set of moods, mostly based on Northern Spanish folk. After the 3 minute mark, the joy stops for a while and we find a softer passage driven on a ceremonious note: the combination of string synth background and Spanish guitar flourishes is just lovely, I could listen to this musical idea for a full 4 minutes or so, but actually it is quite brief, and things don't take long before they return to the original mood. The 7+ minute long closer 'Ahora Vamos A Ver Qué Pasa (Vámonos Para El Mediterráneo)' is the most folk-centered piece in the album: featuring the mandolin and violin, with a dominant room for up tempo ambiences, it effectively wraps thins up with flying colors. "España Año 75" is, all in all, a big demonstration of the solid colorfulness that prog rock musicians brought out to Spain's musical scene in the 70s: a collector's item to be dearly valued by prog maniacs everywhere.

[I dedicate this review to Spain's National Soccer Team, which recently won the FIFA 2010 World Championship]

Cesar Inca | 4/5 |

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