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Latte E Miele - Aquile E Scoiattoli CD (album) cover


Latte E Miele


Rock Progressivo Italiano

3.58 | 71 ratings

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2 stars Complete line-up overhaul

Latte e Miele (Milk and Honey) are one of the classic Italian groups who were not a "one-shot", instead releasing three albums in the 70s as well as a respectable comeback a few years ago. Born in Genova around 1971, the band was acclaimed for an ELP/Orme style of progressive rock fused to classical music. Examples can be heard on their first two albums, the majestic "Passio secundum Mattheum" and follow-up "Papillon." After this they did some serious gigging including a stint with VDGG before being dropped by their label and splitting up in 1974. In 1976 drummer Alfio Vitanza put the band together again with three new members for their third album "Acquile e Scoiattoli".

The third album has a somewhat slicker feel to the production and the material, and while ambitious, lacks the strange baroque-dark feel of the debut in particular. The tracks are structured like Meddle with the first side being unrelated short tracks and the second side featuring an epic side-long suite. The opening title track has a pleasant, light-hearted feel until the mid section kicks into a great dramatic chorus. In that moment they had me on the line! "Menestrello" has a full-on rock feel almost like heavier Alan Parsons or Supertramp, aside from the vocal it has a more international sound. Next is a spirited ode to Beethoven with "Opera 21". The keyboard jamming and drumming is crisp and tight-all of this is pretty cool but quite disjointed in terms of side flow. So side two is where I had to look to find something memorable and I'm afraid it didn't cut it. Long, impressive on paper, and with all of the symphonic glory you might expect "Pavana" just does not excite me. I appreciate the tight rhythm section and some of the arrangements, but the bulk of the keyboard-centric piece sails for over 20 minutes and the only passion aroused in me is frankly to put something else on. Despite the very good sound quality and fine performance, it feels like a prog keyboard exercise that goes on far too long while hitting very few of my musical pleasure receptors. I'm truly surprised by this as I enjoy Basso's "Voci" and certainly tons of albums that are not so far in style from this. I urge RPI and symphonic prog fans to check out this album for themselves because many other like it a lot, some like it more than their two earlier albums. Just not my cup of tea, or rather not my glass of vino.

Finnforest | 2/5 |


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