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Lucio Battisti - Il Nostro Caro Angelo CD (album) cover

IL NOSTRO CARO ANGELO

Lucio Battisti

 

Prog Related

3.60 | 15 ratings

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VanVanVan
Prog Reviewer
4 stars This album was a bit of a pleasant surprise for me. The last several Battisti albums I had reviewed had been, while pleasant, a bit homogeneous, with a whole lot of string backed "smooth pop" and not a whole lot else. Fortunately "Il nostro caro angelo" bucks this trend. The songs on this release are more varied than on any other Battisti album I've heard except perhaps "Amore e non Amore," with clearly audible influences from RPI, jazz, world-music, avant-garde and even funk.

"La collina dei cigliegi" begins with Battisti's voice only minimally accompanied by some guitar chords. Bass enters quickly, and Battisti sings for a little while before launching into one of the best choruses I've heard on any Battisti album so far. "La collina?" has a more open structure, however, than a simple verse-chorus song, and it's better for it, with the ending string and choral section giving the song an extra bit of punch.

"Ma un canto brasileiro" begins with a half-sung, half-spoken word a capella intro, under which electric guitar enters. Piano also enters quickly, and the song becomes a driving, vintage-sounding rock and roll-number, with Battisti's vocal delivery powerful and raw. However, all this suddenly drops away and female vocals enter, accompanied by some sedate guitar. Battisti re-enters, singing much more smoothly, but building intensity until the guitar and piano returns and the song again reaches its beginning energy before once again dropping down. The song concludes with a brief instrumental, with the guitar soloing out to close the track.

"La canzone della terra" starts off with some minimalist percussion before some faint and echoey vocals begin to appear. These grow louder as additional percussion is added until finally the percussion drops out and Battisti begins to sing over some dreamy, swirling synths. Some guitar makes an appearance here as well, though only briefly, and before long the synths fall away again and the percussion begins again, this time aided by some sound effects, whistling, and guitar. Some interesting vocal editing at the end gives Battisti some nice harmonies with himself before the spacey synths return once more to end the track. Aside from the material on "Amore e non Amore," this is easily the most experimental track I've heard from Battisti in my ongoing voyage through his music.

"Il nostro caro angelo" begins with some guitar and bass that's far more "traditional" Battisti than was the last track. I've mentioned before how impressed I am with the bass work on Battisti's albums, and that's true here as well, with piano and guitar turning in excellent parts as well. With some of the most interesting instrumentation I've heard from Battisti, this title track features a variety of synth sounds and some low, fuzzed out guitar constantly buzzing behind the verses that keeps this from sounding too much like his early work.

"Le allettanti promesse" follows, beginning with some guitar and synth over which female vocals are added. Battisti's voice soon joins them, and the voices carry on a pleasant enough sort of duet backed by the rather typical guitar and bass instrumentation that seems almost omnipresent on Battisti albums. Just when you begin to think this is just another call- back to his early work, however, the tempo picks up, distorted guitar is added into the mix and the track ends with a great synth solo and a reprise of the initial vocal line.

"Io gli ho detto no" is next, starting off with some sedate, almost jazzy bass and keyboards that go on for almost a full minute before Battisti begins to sing. The vocals are languid and emotional, but, somewhat unique to Battisti, they're also somewhat scarce, with most of the track's duration consisting of instrumental work. It's an unusual track for Battisti, with a sound that I really haven't heard on any of his other releases, and it only adds to the variety of the album.

"Prendi fra le mani la terra" follows this up with a groovy bassline and some synth that makes the song the closest Lucio Battisti has ever come to funk. Many of the vocals on the track are sung falsetto as well, further distinguishing this track's sound from most of his other work. At the same time, however, I can hear a lot of RPI sound as well, mainly due to the variety of synth textures used in the track and its somewhat non-conventional structure. Really a very nice combination of styles that works quite well.

"Questo inferno rosa" is a fairly long song by Battisti's standards, clocking in at almost seven minutes. It begins with some synth and guitar that's almost reminiscent of Genesis. When the vocals come in they're rather subdued, but no less emotive or well-delivered than usual. After a little while an electric guitar is added into the mix, and Battisti's vocals increase in intensity with the guitar until the spectacular end of the track, which features an epic instrumental conclusion of swelling synths and great guitar soloing. Without a doubt one of the best songs I've heard on any Battisti album, this is a stellar closer.

So I would definitely say that this album is on par with "Amore?" with those two albums being more or less tied in my eyes for the title of Battisti's best work. The sheer variety of this album after multiple albums of the same sound makes it a great listen, and Battisti doesn't lose any of his listenability with these sonic experiments. This is definitely an album for proggers who want to discover what Battisti is all about, and it would certainly come highly recommended from me.

4/5

VanVanVan | 4/5 |

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