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Acqua Fragile - Acqua Fragile CD (album) cover


Acqua Fragile


Rock Progressivo Italiano

3.11 | 110 ratings

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3 stars Forming in 1971 in Parma, Italy, Acqua Fragile were yet another progressive Italian band that didn't achieve the success they deserved and their greatest claim to fame is in providing the springboard for their singer Bernado Lanzetti to move onto greater things with PFM. That's a shame as they certainly had the musical skills, both in playing and composition.

A criticism sometimes levelled at the band is their lack of an authentic Italian sound. This is true as their sound has a much more British feel and parallels can be drawn with early Genesis and Gentle Giant in particular. However taken on its own terms, this, their eponymous debut released in 1973 is a very good album and well worth seeking out. They make good use of vocal harmonies bringing Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young to mind, perfectly illustrated on Science Fiction Suite.

The aforementioned Genesis influences are immediately apparent on opener Morning Comes which starts with a mellow pastoral vibe like on Trespass. The track packs a considerable punch however with some powerful instrumental work including pleasing organ and guitar solo and good use of light and shade; dynamic stuff indeed. Comic Strips is where the Gentle Giant influences first become apparent with the quirky vocal lines and jittery structure. It won't go unnoticed by fans of Family how Lanzetti's vocals bear a resemblance to Roger Chapman with plenty of tremolo in his delivery.

Science Fiction Suite is all about the vocals, harmonising over an acoustic guitar backing. Song From A Picture is a lovely piece, mellow and tastefully played. Education Story is more powerful with a unison guitar and organ riff. It doesn't sit in one place too long however and runs through plenty of changes for such a short song, by prog standards anyway. Going Out is another acoustic track and they save the longest until last with the eight minute Three Hands Man. More vocal harmonies overlay a complex instrumental structure. It twists and turns through many changes and an exciting instrumental workout. A great way to close.

If you're looking for some genuine RPI then this won't be what you're after but let's not hold that against them. Putting that aside, Acqua Fragile's debut is a well above average release and worthy of 3 stars.

Nightfly | 3/5 |


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