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Stefano Testa - Una vita una balena bianca e altre cose CD (album) cover

UNA VITA UNA BALENA BIANCA E ALTRE COSE

Stefano Testa

 

Rock Progressivo Italiano

4.15 | 40 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

coasterzombie
4 stars Una Vita Una Balena Bianco E Altre Cose is a testament to the power of the internet and communities such as ProgArchives shedding new light on forgotten treasures, which the album most certainly is. Just when you thought the well ran dry, another amazing creation springs right before you, and fills you with unaffected beauty and sincerity. Of all the singer/songwriters to latch onto the RPI genre in the 1970s (Mauro Pelosi, Lucio Battisti, Riccardo Cocciante), I can positively say Stefano Testa is easily my favorite. His lone work is a brilliant blend of acoustic and pastoral splendor, symphonic pop, and lite prog. By any description, Una Vita Una Balena Bianco E Altre Cose is a worthy inclusion to any progressive rock collection, and essential for Italian Prog listeners.

The long suite "Una Vita" introduces us to the somewhat idiosyncratic world of Stefano Testa; I have to admit, the first few times I heard it, the song didn't really gel for me. In fact, this may be the one song that keeps the album from attaining masterpiece status in my opinion. The middle section is just a little too Italian Pop/disco for my liking. Blame it on the bass player. All kidding aside, the session players do a fantastic job, particularly the vocalists and string section. "Risveglio" allows us to see Testa in his element, singing softly and capably. "La Ballata Di Achab (Moby Dick)" reminds me a bit of Jumbo or maybe even Banco's playful side. Testa belts out the lyric, but never loses composure, or more importantly, his phrasing or pitch. The man has a golden voice, one of the best you'll hear in Rock Progressivo Italiano.

"Notturno" is my favorite track on the CD and the one most symphonic; acoustic guitar, flute, and what sounds like a viola with a chorus effect all support the vocalist. An Anthony Philips comparison is apt and I mean that in a good way. "Difficile Chiamarti Amore" is another ballad, nearly as beautiful and symphonic as "Notturno," but in a more upbeat way. "Il Dio Sulla Ferrovia" again features the rock instrumentation which is not my favorite in this setting, but it seems to work better here than previously. Finally "Ninna Nanna," a bittersweet narrative, leaves the listener wanting more as the relatively short album concludes. This review would not be complete without an expression of gratitude to Jim Russell for increasing my awareness of this release.

coasterzombie | 4/5 |

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