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Cavalli Cocchi Lanzetti Roversi - Cavalli Cocchi Lanzetti Roversi CD (album) cover

CAVALLI COCCHI LANZETTI ROVERSI

Cavalli Cocchi Lanzetti Roversi

 

Rock Progressivo Italiano

3.40 | 23 ratings

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Finnforest
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Refined (nearly) to death but it sure is pretty

Their press release claims CCLR "continue the tradition of Italian Progressive Rock groups, singing in English and bringing the genre up to date", the latter part which is worthy of some moderate scorn in my opinion. First off, the RPI genre is already up to date and has been well before this trio arrived on the scene. There are plenty of exciting and "up to date" bands on the current scene. Second, despite their claim of continuing the tradition, CCLR's English vocals are instead a footnote to that tradition. RPI bands are more than welcome to use them of course and a few did/do, but the fact remains that the vast majority of classic/modern RPI bands use the beautiful and romantic Italian language thankfully, and the majority of RPI fans I've known prefer it that way. The Italian language is one of the great thrills of listening to this unique and amazing sub genre.

CCLR is short for Cavalli-Cocchi, Lanzetti & Roversi, a new "supergroup" featuring former PFM and Acqua Fragile vocalist Bernardo Lanzetti, Mangala Vallis' Gigi Cavalli Cocchi on drums, and Moongarden's Cristiano Roversi on keyboards and bass. Guitar duties are handled by a cavalry of special guests, including none other than Mr. Steve Hackett. The new album is a highly professional production from hugely talented musicians, but the great degree of refinement zaps some of the thrills from the project for me. I almost thought of this as "lounge-RPI" mixed with crossover and sometimes too much vocal melodrama, during one track I thought I was listening to Meatloaf.

Yet despite my light hearted ribbing, the majority of the album can be described as mature, laid-back, elegant rock music with an affluent sophistication and carefully considered, earnest arrangements. Lanzetti, who sounds amazingly like Roger Chapman of Family fame, is a gifted vocalist who brings new life to several songs, one of which includes a reworking of the Acqua Fragile classic "Morning Comes." It's a very beautiful, pastoral moment. Roversi employs enough mellotron to excite the old school fans, while instrumental sections can occasionally get jazzy or bluesy in the smoothest sense of the words. There is a good deal of piano, bass, and acoustic guitar interplay that is quite clean and given plenty of space. They sometimes brought to mind Procol Harum for their pace and warmth, as well as classic Supertramp for their blend of accessible styles, and even Peter Gabriel for the unique art-rock flavor.

The roster of musicians alone makes this debut of interest to fans of RPI even if the sound is only occasionally genre typical. I personally was somewhat indifferent to what I was hearing and repeated listening overcame only some of that. I appreciated the quality and seriousness of the project but found myself wanting much more. More mischief, more release, and more sweat. I was a bit like a Clapton fan watching the master give a deep and "mature" modern day live acoustic performance while secretly dying to get back to the car so I could crank some Cream. I guess that means I'm still stuck in middle-aged adolescence but I have to be honest. In any case, this is a good album which delivers a wealth of truly beautiful moments despite my reservations, and is recommended to those who love a refined and relaxing approach.

Finnforest | 3/5 |

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