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Fabrizio De André - La Buona Novella CD (album) cover


Fabrizio De André


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3.92 | 29 ratings

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Pietro Otello Romano
5 stars Although I am a long standing fan of Fabrizio de Andre', I gained knowledge of this album thirty years after, just during his last concert, dated on 1999 at the Brancaccio theatre.

Fabrizio is not a proper prog artist, his roots are strongly deep inside the traditional Italian singer-songwriter's genre, which is largely even far from the traditional rock's genre, but "La buona Novella", with the subsequent albums "Non al denaro non all'amore nč al cielo" and "Storia di un impiegato", represents a significant prog digression in the artist's career.

"La buona novella" is an exquisite concept album and, if we consider that it is almost contemporary of "In the wake of Poseidon", "The Least We Can Do Is Wave To Each Other" and "Trespass" among the others, and two years in advance of "Storia di un minuto", and "Banco del Mutuo Soccorso" it is among if not even the first real Italian prog record ever, and one of the most important oeuvre of the "Rock Progressivo Italiano".

Fabrizio, a professed atheist, tells the story of the Virgin Mary from a different point of view, generated by his deep studies of the so-called "Apocryphal Gospel". Jesus Christ is the third most important prophet of the Muslim religion, and there are several anecdotes regarding his life within the Koran too, that are not reported within the catholic Gospel. The artist through these anecdotes develops a poignant story, composed with highly poetic metaphors, in order to highlight the problems of the society of his time too, such as war, woman's condition, power politics, hypocrisy etc...

The first five songs tell the story of the Virgin Mary's childhood, apparently raised from the age of three to the age of twelve in a temple until the coming of her first period. Won by Joseph, in market's raffle prize, she become the child-bride of a man (Joseph) too old to be a husband and unwilling to be a father. War. Joseph, a carpenter, is sent to the front in order to use is skill to fix the injured limps of the soldiers, and he will be away for four years. During this period, Mary has a love's affair with an "Angel (?)", and when Joseph is back she is pregnant. I like the best this first part, which is the most progressive part of the album too, the five songs unfold like a real suite in five movements with a proper intro and a "Gran Finale", of course Fabrizio, an excellent musician, is even a better poet, and the knowledge of the Italian language not only help to appreciate his works at the best, but it accentuate this impression of listening a proper suite, too.

The rest of the album carries on a more appropriate way to the traditional Italian songs. "Via della Croce" is a very beautiful ballad with a powerful and forceful pace, worthy of a Leonard Cohen. It tells of the last walk of Jesus Christ to his execution carrying the cross on his back, through the hostile and hypocrite crowds.

"Tre Madri" literally three mothers, describe, in a poignant song, the pain of the Virgin Mary and the mothers of the two thieves, for the execution of their sons.

"Il testament di Tito" among the most popular songs of de Andre' ever, is a sort of "Ten Commandments" the other way around and it is a blast to the hypocrisy of the power and in particular of the Catholic Church.

The symphonic "Laudate Homini" is a progressive "Gran Finale", including of string quartet and choir.

I rate this album 5 star, first of all because it is an historical landmark of the Italian popular music and also because it is one of the first important step into the beginning of the "Rock Progressivo Italiano".

Pietro Otello Romano | 5/5 |


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