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Gino D'Eliso - Ti ricordi Vienna? CD (album) cover


Gino D'Eliso


Rock Progressivo Italiano

3.24 | 6 ratings

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3 stars Wonderful Italian art-rock album

Gino D'Eliso from Trieste was a somewhat borderline addition to the site, added mainly for his debut "Il Mare" which was a very pleasant, dreamy, soft-prog album. The buzz on D'Eliso was that the first album was pretty much all she wrote, at least for prog fans. However as often the case with Italian artists from the singer-songwriter branch there was more to the story. Since I had approached his second album with pretty low expectations I was very pleasantly surprised. As with artists like Battisti, Rocchi, or Leo Nero, D'Eliso turned out to have some tricks in his "post-prog" bag that were quite delightful.

While D'Eliso jumps from "Il Mare's" soft-symphonic into eclectic pop/rock music here he does it with plenty of charm and splash. While some Italian vibe and influence remain there is a new international spirit embraced. There's a certain sexy playfulness with glam and disco touched on, a desire for a bit of urban hip, as if Gino were going for something like Roxy Music. But there's also an earnest Al Stewart feel, a folk-rock side, and at times a night on the town clubbing to a light Boz Scaggs jam. The "disco" influence is felt mainly through the beat, that disco shuffle drumming along with some funky-slappy bass playing. But the songs are never throwaway!!!....on the contrary there are some really refreshing melodies and arrangements to enjoy. Not to mention lots of colorful musical surprises to hold your attention. The tracks are adorned in lush fashion with strings background (or string simulations) and occasionally frenetic staccato violin bursts jumping at you. The backing musicians were pretty top-notch as you get some solid instrumental sections here and there though of course they don't last long and the tracks fade quickly. His vocals are decent and easy going, he occasionally is backed by female vocal harmonies.

"Kajmac Calan" brings some different ethnic folk vibe to the table, with strange melody and hand percussion played with a street festival fervor. "Non basta la poesia" at 6 minutes is the breadwinner and briefly looks back to prog ambitions, with dramatic mood, romantic vocal, and elegant harp! An ambitious piece of controlled emotion and refinement. While his first album is always going to get more attention in RPI fan circles, in my opinion this may actually be a more interesting work. The album closes with an off-the-rails bit of strangeness that sounds like carnival soundtrack gone awry. Like many good albums he managed to make "all over the map" feel cohesive and fulfilling. It's a reminder that while RPI is frequently accused of falling apart in the late 70s, it actually weathered the storm better than many other quarters. There were artists who managed to make some daring and unique albums in that period when conventional wisdom claimed none existed. Listen to albums like this, or Leo Nero, or many others from the late 70s to mid 80s, and you will find some richly rewarding slabs. There is confidence, humor, and genuine good times to be had with this one.

There's no way to really call this RPI (see his debut for that) but you should definitely check this out if you enjoy Italian "art-rock" and Ital-pop from the 70s. Apparently there is no CD issue for this so if you're not into vinyl you can hear tracks on YouTube.

Finnforest | 3/5 |


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