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Lucio Battisti - Amore e Non Amore CD (album) cover


Lucio Battisti


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3.87 | 31 ratings

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4 stars I continue my string of Lucio Battisti reviews with "Amore e Non Amore." Of the three I've heard so far, this one is the first one that I think could actually be called (at least crossover) prog with a straight face instead of merely being an influence on later prog bands. Apparently it's a concept album (unfortunately most of that is lost on me due to the language barrier), and as you might expect we get a bit of deviation here from the poppiness of Battisti's first two albums. We have here instrumental interludes, longer songs, and overall more depth to the sound compared to what he had released before this.

"Dio Mio No" begins the album, and it's the longest Battisti song I've heard yet, clocking in at a good two minutes over anything on his previous releases. Despite that, it's actually one of the less proggish songs on the album, with the same rhythm guitar part pretty much repeating throughout. However, we get some great vintage organ and a few great guitar solos on top of that, and as always Battisti's vocals sound great. Another thing that I've been noticing about Battisti's work that is also apparent here is that the bass work is always excellent and interesting to listen to.

"Seduto sotto un platano con una margherita in bocca guardando il flume nero macchiato dalla schiuma bianca dei detersivi" (whew, that's a long title) is next, and this one combines a sort of "Eastern European Folk" sound with some psychedelic textures for a really great instrumental. It's around this point that one can really see the step forward Battisti has taken musically, as this 3 minute instrumental is light-years ahead of anything on his first two albums. Great song.

"Una" comes next, and with it return the vocals. "Una" is a fairly depressing sounding track, a fact which comes even across the language barrier due in no small part to the incredible emotion Battisti can vocalize with. I hope I don't sound like a broken record when I say that, but it really is astounding. The instrumentation is great as well, recalling hints of some slower Beatles' songs. There's no virtuosic breaks or anything like that, but the arrangement is stellar and there's not a note out of place the whole song.

"7 agosto di pomeriggio. Fra le lamiere roventi di un cimitero di automobili solo io, silenzioso eppure straordinariamente vivo" is another instrumental. It begins with a guitar part that, to my ears, sounds incredibly similar to the Beatles' "Dear Prudence." It quickly develops away from that, however, into another beautifully arranged, at times slightly avant-sounding classical style interlude. Maybe the most drastic departure yet from his self titled release and "Emozioni," especially due to the hints of dissonance that are briefly but powerfully used to great effect.

"Se la Mia Pelle Vuoi" again brings back vocals and has a very "vintage rock-and-roll" sound. I know that's not very specific but hopefully you understand what I'm saying. It's a pretty standard number, and there's a brief but great guitar solo in the middle, but there's not too much else to say about this one. It's a nice change of pace from "7 agosto..." though.

Following the pattern of the album, "Davanti ad un distributore automatico di fiori dell'aeroporto di Bruxelles, anch'io chiuso in una bolla di vetro" is another instrumental track. This track features some very nice interplay between the orchestral sounds we've come to expect from Battisti and that seemingly omnipresent vintage organ. Overall the track has a great ambience and the aforementioned juxtaposition works quite well.

"Supermarket" follows, and it's one of the more simply arranged songs, featuring only an acoustic guitar, some minimalistic percussion and Battisti's vocals. However, it also features a fantastic vocal melody so it certainly doesn't feel like anything is lacking. To me it sounds like one of the happier songs on the album, but I have no way of knowing if the lyrics reflect that.

"Una poltrona, un bicchiere di cognac, un televisore, 35 morti ai confini di Israele e Giordania" closes off the album with another instrumental (though there are some wordless vocals). This one isn't as complex as some of the others on the album, instead opting to follow pretty much the same pattern throughout but continually add things on to build up the intensity. It's a fitting close to the album.

Overall, "Amore e Non Amore" is not nearly as immediately enjoyable as Battisti's first two albums, but after several listens I have to admit that it's certainly better put together. For me, the real treats here are the instrumentals: they're all totally different from one another, and totally different Battisti did previous to this album. "7 agosto..." is probably the standout here, but as will all the Battisti albums I've reviewed thus far I didn't have any problem listening through all the way, especially since the album comes in at only 35 minutes.


VanVanVan | 4/5 |


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