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Lucio Battisti - Umanamente Uomo: Il Sogno CD (album) cover


Lucio Battisti


Prog Related

3.32 | 28 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

3 stars I have to begin by admitting some bias. Lucio Battisti led me to RPI and I love his 60s/70s output, so I do have a soft spot for his work.

Umanamente Uomo: il Sogno is not as progressive as say, his albums Il Nostro Caro Angelo or Anima Latina but does have songs that move beyond his usual inventive rock/pop arrangements. 'Prog-related' is perfect for many of Lucio's albums and this is easily one of his best works.

The album is a mixture of the baroque-feel pop/rock and stirring ballads with some progressive moments thrown in. See his biography here for a fantastic explanation of where Battisti fits in to the progressive movement in Italy.

The opener 'I giardini di marzo' and '...E penso a te' are both wonderful ballads, especially '...e penso a te' (a song he and Mogol wrote for pop singer Mina). where the gentle piano opening leads to a crescendo that really demands you sing along.

The remaining tracks are great pop songs, though the gentle 'Umanamente uomo: il sogno' with its whistling lead in place of words, is perhaps more of a long interlude, and it isn't until the end of the album that we get the two most progressive pieces. As Battisti worked mostly within the singer/songwriter tradition, both 'Sognando e risognando' and ' Il fuoco' are very interesting in the context of the album.

'Sognando e risognando' is the hardest rocking song on the album, with its insistent riff and powerful vocals. It has more of a 'rock band' feel than other songs and includes elements that seem typical of a pop rock song - a short solo, a chorus and verse structure for the most part. But it also has a long intro with just the bass drum, complex vocal counterpoints, duets with a female singer in the chorus and the solo placed at the very end of the song, and from what I've had translated for me, some odd lyrics. But it's the track I keep coming back to again and again and again.

Looking at the darkness of the sleeve art, with its glare of fire and dark limbs, the general feel of the album doesn't quite match. It's definitely not as dark as it suggests - until you reach 'Il fuoco,' which is a disturbing four minutes. Perhaps something of a guitar experiment in feedback and wah-wah, with its distorted moans from voice (cries for help?), it's a harrowing way to end an album and most 'un-pop.'

For fans of the Italian singer/songwriter tradition or those interested in the fringes of progressive rock in Italy. Four stars from me, but as a progressive rock album, perhaps three is better.

dreadpirateroberts | 3/5 |


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