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Le Orme - Il Fiume CD (album) cover


Le Orme


Rock Progressivo Italiano

3.49 | 87 ratings

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5 stars Once left behind the pop temptations of the eighties and after an intense live activity with a renewed line up featuring Aldo Tagliapietra (vocals, bass, acoustic guitar, sitar), Michi Dei Rossi (drums, percussion, glockenspiel, gamelan), Michele Bon (organ, keyboards, synthesizers, vocals) and Francesco Sartori (piano, keyboards), in 1996 Le Orme came back to progressive with a brand new studio album, "Il fiume" (The river), a long suite inspired by Indian culture and spirituality where the river is conceived as a metaphor of life. The release of the album was a kind of challenge since in Italy progressive was not popular in the early nineties as it was in the past and it was hard for the band to find a label giving them credit. Eventually the album was released on the independent label Tring and distributed through a bookshops chain. For sure it wasn't a commercial operation nor a pathetic and nostalgic effort to run after success. The overall sound is up to date and the band did not try to copy their past masterworks. The result is absolutely good and this is one of my favourite albums of the nineties.

The opener "Il fiume ? parte prima (Raga Bagheshri)" (The river ? first part) is an instrumental inspired by a traditional Indian melody in two parts. The music starts softly, then takes off in a crescendo where Michele Bon's guitar emulator takes the lead.

The delicate "Madre mia" (Oh my dear mother) features Aldo Tagliapietra on vocals and sitar while classical dreamy piano passages provide an evocative musical landscape... "The river rises from a generous mother, a pure and sweat spring / Among solitaire and silent mountains meeting with God... Mother, my dear mother, sweat and clear water / I still feel the taste of your freedom...".

Next comes the instrumental "Prima acqua" (First water) that starts with a lively marching beat and a steady pace, then soaring melodic lines lead to the aggressive and claustrophobic "Chiesa d'asfalto" (Church of asphalt) that describes the effects of modern city-life and the troubles that it can provoke. Someone screams under an unhealthy sky... "Look at this city and at its skyscrapers investigating the world / It looks as an advertisement of the paradise we lost / That's the big city which mirrors itself on the water of the river / Church of asphalt, of mud and concrete / Golden lover that wears you out...".

"Danza dell'acqua" (Dance of the water) is a beautiful instrumental that leads to the tense "Lungo il fiume" (Along the river) where lead vocals are shared between Michele Bon and Aldo Tagliapietra... "Along the river, one life one battle / Along the river, conscience strips off / Along the river, waiting for an emotion / Along the river, the fear to be alone... Feeling one more time the violence of the dark / Waking up thousands thoughts among voices, sounds and noises / Stealing the wings of the wind... To fly along the river...".

"Dove l'acqua si riposa" (Where water take a rest) is a short piano solo interlude that leads to the evocative "Il vecchio" (The old man). Lyrics tell about a meeting with an old and wise man who lives on the river banks... "Who are you, who are you / You, who can see throughout my eyes, You, who can perceive my naivety throughout my words / I would like to become like you / A solitary mountain embracing God...".

Next comes "La parola" (The word), a short reflection about time... "The future is a cloud / The past is desert sand that the wind carried away / As free water, the present is a great raging river / And you have... to live it!". I

"Grande acqua" (Great water) is an interesting ballad featuring acoustic guitar. Lyrics are about the ineluctable flowing away of existence... "Towards the sea, with joy and fear / I breath the condemn of love... Time is my home... This magic one day will come to an end / There will be nothing but reality... Into the sea won't be alone / We will hold tight other hands / Everybody knows that nothing will change / This endless run will continue...".

The instrumental finale "Il fiume ? parte seconda (Raga Bagheshri)" (The river ? second part) closes the circle leading you to the starting point for another spin...

andrea | 5/5 |


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