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Franco Battiato - Sulle Corde Di Aries CD (album) cover


Franco Battiato


Rock Progressivo Italiano

4.09 | 109 ratings

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Andrea Cortese
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Battiato's third album is one of the most "difficult" records ever released in Italy. As always the artist pulls his music near the limits that separate a pure intellectual speculation from modern music. At the risk to be boring, risk he did not manage to avoid with Sulle Corde di Aries, in my humble opinion. This is due, mainly, to the long opener titled "Sequenze e Frequenze" (no transaltion needed) which is on about 16,22 minutes of continuous repetition of a same prog-electronic theme plus sparse vocals and choruses. Suggestive, I admit it, but not exactly my cup of tea. He seems to be an intruder in all the classic italian prog crew of the seventies.

Finally the looong opener comes to an end and side B of the album features three shorter tunes (between 5 and 6 minutes), not less experimental and avant-gardist, though. "Aries" is similar to the previous track, with the addition of an interesting "screaming" tenor saxophone and eastern percussions. Battiato always liked eastern music (eastern, id est middle-east). He often used (and use today) to combine various and different musical influences in his works along with those strange poems that are so difficult to understand and translate (a sort of Joyce's "flow of consciousness" plus an elaborate research for magniloquent words and expressions.

"Aria di Rivoluzione" is somehow peculiar because of the alternating between italian vocals and spoken german words.

The closer "Da Oriente ad Occidente" (From East to West) is the one I like off this record. The most varied track of the album. The dreamy vocals (Battiato seems really to be praising highly to the sky...), the oboe addition, mandola, guitar and flutes create something I have never heard before... perhaps one of the first example of world music. And how strong it is!

In conclusion. This is not exactly what I love of the huge italian prog scene. Not pop at all! Too much experimental and intellectual for my personal tastes, but who cares? It's so a subjective perspective... 2,5 stars for me.

EDIT january 25 2008.

Well, I have recently had another deep listening session with this album and maybe my general impression has not changed. In fact I still prefer the previous album Pollution with songs as Areknamès or Beta. By the way, lyrics seem more polite and refined here, more intellectual, if you want. On the other hand, the long opener Sequenze e Frequenze continues to not impress me very much. The sweet surprise is the closer Da Oriente ad Occidente with that wonderful mix between cosmic and folk sounds. Excellent, I say. All in all, 2 stars look probably too low if compared with my first analysis which ended at 2.5 stars. Now I think that the album is more coherent than any of the previous records from Battiato. Still not my favourite one, though. To be honest, it's rather difficult for me to completely digest the long opener. Maybe it's too soon and I have to acquire that specific taste. I don't know if time will come for it. Generally, I use to avoid prog electronic a la Phedra and avantguard prog. But, let's say, future is always uncertain...and all is possible.

I round it up to 3 stars.

Andrea Cortese | 3/5 |


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