Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography
Le Orme - Florian CD (album) cover

FLORIAN

Le Orme

 

Rock Progressivo Italiano

3.78 | 115 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Finnforest
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars A major shift and an exceptional, unique work

After eight studio albums in the rock and progressive rock realms, Le Orme made a major shift in style on their ninth album. However, rather than taking the predictable route so many prog bands tried in the late 70s Le Orme instead took a huge gamble. They released an album of classically inspired music, a marriage of chamber music, occasional folk touches, and their own experimental imaginations. The result proved successful on a critical level and no doubt on a personal level as the band managed a work of art in this difficult period which is loved by many to this day.

I think this album works so well because they have managed to avoid the many pitfalls that could trip up something like this. The songs are very melodic and yet not sappy or sweet. They sound quite ambitious, definitely progressive in the longer tracks, and yet never did it feel forced or contrived. Last, they managed to do something completely different from what they had done before, to turn their previous sounds on their ear, and yet still manage a final work that sounds thoroughly Orme. Relaxing acoustic guitars lead the way, yet this is no simple "unplugged" set whereby popular band X simply strums away to their hits. This has the same quest for creative worth as any of their better-known works. Atop the guitars are lively and restless strings, a violin lovers delight! Ditto with the piano, beautiful playing abounds. The percussion element is unique, trading basic drumming for hand percussion integral to the actual song, not just background beat-keeping. Finally, when Aldo does sing his voice is wonderfully complimentary to the album, bringing some warmth and familiarity to music that could initially be jarring to old fans of Le Orme.

The album is bookended by the two most progressive works, with prettier and simpler (yet still fine) tracks in between. The dramatic themes of the opening title track "Florian" are so interesting- here you are listening to this subtle chamber-style piece, yet in your head you can definitely "hear" the 1972 Orme playing this in full classic prog-rock mode, with the huge keys and loud rhythm section, and thing is, it works just as well here. There is naturally more beauty in this presentation and the power/impact, while subtle, clearly remains there for those paying attention. "Jaffe" is beautiful beyond words, with Aldo's voice and delicate strings punctuated by harpsichord providing that well considered richness of tapestry that would put the album over the top. "Fine di un Viaggio" has a bit more of a folk feel with the mandolin and sticks out a bit, the weakest track but still OK. The album closes with the other truly progressive monster, a perfect bookend to the opener "Florian." Like the opener it could easily be modified into a fully bombastic rock piece with electric guitars and banks of keys, but is instead the alter ego, refined, restrained, yet detailed as hell and fully engaging listening. These two pieces are ghosts of progressive rock epics.

So without question, dive right into Florian and give it some weeks and months to assimilate. It is a very rewarding album and not just for RPI fans, I think frankly anyone could enjoy this album. Involving and rich like a superb Cabernet, Florian is an excellent album. Very nearly a masterpiece, this album will tangle with their two early giants for the title of "my favorite Orme album." Just set aside your expectations and be prepared for a very different listening experience. Play this one only when you in the mood to kick back, relax, and give it your attention.

Finnforest | 4/5 |

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

Share this LE ORME review

Social review comments () BETA







Review related links

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: JazzMusicArchives.com — jazz music reviews and archives | MetalMusicArchives.com — metal music reviews and archives