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Nuova Idea - Clowns CD (album) cover

CLOWNS

Nuova Idea

 

Rock Progressivo Italiano

3.65 | 58 ratings

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coasterzombie
3 stars A short album that starts strong and runs out of steam, Clowns was Nuova Idea's third and final album, released in 1973. Influences are all over the place and incongruent, but that doesn't necessarily make Clowns feel uneven. I get the sense they simply ran out of ideas; the album is certainly "front-loaded" and begins much stronger than it ends. Many will cite the vocals of Ricky Belloni as unlistenable, but they really don't bother me that much. I actually much prefer his vocal style over that of Bernardo Lanzetti (Acqua Fragile, PFM), to whom he is often compared. An interesting release, and one you may want to seek out if idiosyncratic, wild prog is your forte.

"Clessidra" begins with a New Trolls-esque fanfare, before the onslaught of organ, synth and lead guitar take over. This is a seriously killer riff - you can't help but nod your head and want to dance around. I especially love the drums on this track; Paulo Siani lays down a thick groove which is perfectly anchored by the bass guitar. "Un'isola" is also fairly strong. This tune is a more reserved offering at first, before derailing into a somewhat mediocre rock song. And it's all downhill from here, folks - Nuova Idea never really capitalize on the swagger exercised in the opener. "Il Giardino Dei Sogni" is okay, but Belloni's vocals do verge on the annoying. The long title track attempts to capture the genius of "Clessidra," but ends up feeling samey and average. The saving grace comes at the end however, when the trumpeter explodes into an improvisational tirade, and the band does its best Blood Sweat & Tears impression. "Una Vita Nuova" again sees the band getting in touch with its softer side; not a terrible song, but it kind of seems like an afterthought. The opening trumpet reveille bookends Clowns to its conclusion.

I would rate this long-player 3.5 stars but have to round down. The lack of strength on the songwriting front and somewhat irksome vocal style bother me just enough to not recommend Clowns for just anyone. If gregarious, fun-loving bands pique your interest, then Nuova Idea may be right up your alley. If nothing else, Clowns certainly warrants a three-star rating based on the strength of the first two songs alone.

coasterzombie | 3/5 |

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