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Rustichelli & Bordini - Opera Prima CD (album) cover

OPERA PRIMA

Rustichelli & Bordini

 

Rock Progressivo Italiano

3.72 | 55 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

coasterzombie
3 stars Another keyboard-driven masterwork, this time delivered by future movie soundtrack composer Paulo Rutichelli, and Cherry Five drummer Carlo Bordini. Like modern-day duos The Black Keys and The White Stripes, this pair manage to make a huge amount of noise for two people, and the lack of other instruments goes unnoticed. Often the arrangements are anchored on the bottom end by Moog basses and foot pedals, and the lack of guitar is never a problem either. Think of ELP without a bass player and you'll get the idea. While the album is a synth-lovers dream, the lack of vocal ability on the part of Rusticelli ruins what would be an otherwise perfectly enjoyable album. And though Bordini's drumming it quite serviceable, it is apparent to me that Rusticelli was running the show here, and Bordini is forced to play a "get-out-of-the-way" role.

If the entire album was as good as the instrumental "Nativita'," Opera Prima would easily be a four-star recommendation for me. A plethora of keyboards are featured, including Mellotron, acoustic piano, organ, and various analog synths. "Icaro" is our first taste of Paulo Rusticelli's voice; even though it starts out quite pleasant with an echo effect, when he hits the upper limit of his register the gruff nature of Paulo's natural voice reveals itself. If you've heard Arvalo Fella of Jumbo this voice timbre will not be too shocking, but unfortunately (unlike Fella), Ruticelli is out of tune most of the time, and it just feels like he hollering and wailing for no good reason. It can actually be nauseating at points, like in the bridge where it sounds like he is going to puke all over the microphone. Luckily none of the vocal parts last too terribly long, but they kind of leave a bad taste in your mouth (no pun intended).

"Dolce Sorella" is a sweet ballad, with more dazzling keyboard performances and even decent singing. "Un Cane" begins similarly but metamorphoses into a dirge-like opus. The synths and vocals completely drown out what Carlo Bordini is doing here, which sounds like some really talented drumming but it's impossible to know for sure. This production technique continues into "E Sveglarsi in un Giorno," the shortest and most accessible track on Opera Prima. The long "Cammellandia" rounds out the set, and honestly goes on a little too long in my opinion. Not a terrible listen by any means, Opera Prima is an album you will want to seek out at some point once you are prepared to deal with some of its shortcomings.

coasterzombie | 3/5 |

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