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Le Orme - Smogmagica CD (album) cover

SMOGMAGICA

Le Orme

 

Rock Progressivo Italiano

2.77 | 84 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

coasterzombie
2 stars What a disappointment. After an amazing four-album run between 1971 and 1974, Le Orme adds a guitarist and travels to California for the recording of their next album. The result was Smogmagica, a radical departure for the band and a failure in terms of consistency and lasting appeal. There are a few flashes of brilliance here and there, but they are so fleeting I can't get to three stars. The album is also terribly front-loaded; the first two songs are the best on Smogmagica and everything else pales in comparison. I hate to say the best thing about Smogmagica is its length...the short album doesn't outstay it's welcome. All Le Orme fans will want to acquire this at some point but the typical prog fan and even most RPI collectors will find Smogmagica largely non-essential.

Some would argue that Orme had lost their way by 1974 on Contrappunti; I personally love that album, and don't see Smogmagica as a logical extension of it. If only judging a book by its cover, you immediately know something is different here just from looking at the splendid Paul Whitehead sleeve. Unfortunately the contents don't quite live up to these expectations, and within lies second-rate rock music. Don't be misled by the excellent "Los Angeles" - it's all downhill from here, though the canonical "Amico di Ieri" has become a Le Orme staple over the years and deservedly so. The only other highlight is the listenable "Immensa Distesa." I can't figure out what "Ora o Mai Pui" is supposed to be...it sounds like the Beach Boys playing theme music for a TV sitcom. The intentionally trippy "Laserium Floyd" is an obvious ode to its namesake; "Primi Passi" and "L'Uomo del Pianino" are poorly-executed commercial attempts; "Amanti di Citta'" and "Laurel Canyon" are decent but nothing extraordinary. 2.5 stars is generous for this lackluster Le Orme release.

coasterzombie | 2/5 |

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