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Angelo Branduardi - Si Puo' Fare CD (album) cover


Angelo Branduardi


Rock Progressivo Italiano

2.73 | 5 ratings

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2 stars Having heard the title track only, "Si puo fare" raised high hopes inside the fan - had "our" beloved Angelo finally returned to form ? The song itself - vintage Branduardi, a joyous track combining an irresistible ear-wig-melody with a strong folklore-flavour, supposed to be a hit and a classic, a fanfare of new found confidence in the wake of rebirth. That's what I was hoping for, although I quite like "Il Ladro" and "Pane e Rose". With Jorma Kaukonen there was an extraordinary guitar-player in the line-up ( and, additionally - as if there was a third one needed - a man named Massimo Luca ) - and, from the old team, Gigi Cappellotto had returned.

But oh what a disappointment was waiting for me, cause the other songs... were mostly second-rate, unoriginal, sounding dire rather than joyous or inspired. You can distinctively feel the attempt at creating a more commercial and cohesive collection of songs, with the arrangements being tighter and the experiments driven back, drawing artistic merit from the "roots"-attitude. Whose roots ? Branduardi's ? Then he must have been born in the Blues Delta ! You may think this was an improvement to the predecessors, but I'm telling you here that you're wrong. All that's making the record so cohesive is its blandness. I'm very sorry to say so for a Branduardi-album, cause none of the others are.

"Il Viaggiatore": Country-rock with fiddle - as if they had taken Tim Hardin's "If I were a Carpenter" into a Yankee-Grave, half-heartedly sung by the wrong singer. Argh. You won't get me to like this, not in a million years. Old men going country - but sounding as if they wanted to be merry only, they weren't really. Tried and failed.

"Noi, come fiumi". Slow down the guitar ( or was it the piano ? Sorry, I'm slightly irritated ! ) of "Unchained Melody" and let it twang so you can be sure you're still somewhere near the Mississippi, not forget to give the snare-drum a clanging sound, so you can make Roop ( me myself I ) run as fast as he can. The melody itself got lost on the way, sadly ( or fortunately cause I wouldn't wanna hear it in this arrangement - even if it was good ).This is no Blues, this is no country, it's a ballad without the ballad. Tried and failed.

"Casanova" is slightly better. But I wonder if a woman would fall for him ( Casanova, nowadays ! ) ifever he tried to please her that way. It really must have been hard to find memorable melodies during the making of this album. This one's forgettable because there's nothing new to it, not even the chord-structure is ( you can hear the moments when the intention was: "make it a bit more complex"... and it's those moments itself when the melody gets under wheels instead of evolving into a coherent one ). But you can listen to the arrangement ( with synth-horns ) without pain and at least find traces of the beauty that Branduardi is so capable of, shining through there and then... so it's a plus. A tedious one, though. Tried and not really succeeded.

"Forte" sounds forced but still belongs to the better moments on the album. Clanging drums again, oh yes, it's country-rock, Zachary Richard's accordion included, but this time you can at least feel a bit of fun. Chris Rea may like it but surely would have done better with it cause he knows how to write songs going C/G/D/D all over again. Loooong fade-out with guitar-solo noodling stereotypical licks. Too poor for a single but because there was no better one they've tried and... failed still.

"Indiani" - starts great. Could be a soaring, new agy - track with enchanting atmosphere. "Biko"-Chords. Kaukonen's Guitar clinging in the background. The drums come in and... well, it's becoming an overlong and bland attempt at what it should have been. Long fade. As if something important has reached the end. No, sorry, it's not been. Once more - no real new idea in here, just playing for playing's sake in the hope to somehow make it a good song. The melody ? Lost somehow. The more I listen to it, the more I'm sure that a completely different arrangement would have helped. Speeded up and given a medieval flavour like on Branduardi's old albums, and given Maurizio Fabrizio's classical guitar. Indian drums come to mind but then again - didn't America's native citizens suffer enough ? This way: Tried and failed again.

"Cambia il vento, cambia il tempo" - great guitars at the beginning, lovely melody. Okay song but then the drums come in again and it's becoming just another faceless country-rock-ballad. Branduardi's Violin - no spark, sounding timid and poor, only repeating the simple melody. How beautiful this could have been - let me stop thinking or I'll get angry. Tried and... sadly wasted. But if you're looking for a "highlight" and don't mind the false arrangement: This may be yours. Never mind the looong fade ( short fades would have done ).

"L'Ombra". Hm. Are we ever going to leave the Mississippi ? Kaukonen's guitars are really fine, the blues-harp is as well, but the song itself is so tedious and Branduardi's voice does not really fit to the music. Nice groove, though. Tried and... well, I don't wanna be so harsh, but succeeded only in making me skip in hope for at least one outstanding track that doesn't send me to sleep.

"Devi Trattarla bene". Decent blues. Nice slide-guitar. Nothing original, but best song since the title-track. But it's been hard for me to get here, really, and there's only one more song to come - Angelo ! Angelo ??? Come back to Italy, please ! HOME ! Who needs that dire "green green grass" if his home is the beautiful, sunny and richly vegetative south of Europe ? Though, has to be said, for once... ( not counting the exceptional title-track ): Tried and succeeded.

"Prima di Ripartire". Fine track. Really beautiful piano-ballad with a bluesy feel. A little lullaby for the night. And a wonderful melody to which Branduardi's voice is really fitting well. 2 and a half minutes of undisturbed, inspired listening pleasure, not enough to save the album from falling but: Succeeded. Finally. Time to go to sleep now...

...but before I do let me count together quickly:

"Si puo fare": 4 stars ( 5 for fans )

"Devi tratarla bene": 3.5 stars

"Prima di Ripartire": 4 stars again.

The rest... well, I think it's best to forget about it. The good thing about this album - for me, the most superfluous one in Angelo's output - is that the "return to form" came afterwards, so this was perhaps a "must" for him to do in order to really find his bearings again.

I quite like the American influences on "Il Ladro", but here he was stuck on dry land somewhere in the Blues-Delta and there's nothing exciting about it, not even the feel. 2 stars. No more. Ask me again in 10 years only to hear me say that this time, other than with "Branduardi '81", nothing has changed. I'm pretty sure - except of the fact that with ear-wigs such as the ( splendid ) title-track the fun may decrease from having gotten overplayed !

rupert | 2/5 |


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