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Franco Battiato - Genesi CD (album) cover

GENESI

Franco Battiato

Rock Progressivo Italiano


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octopus-4
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
RIO/Avant/Zeuhl Team
5 stars Battiato was already in the 80s at the end of the 70s. As an artist always in advance respect to his times he is out of the 80s in 1987.

After a number of artsy pop-oriented albums, some of them quite poor even if good enough for the period, he unexpectedly releases a sort of avant-opera inspired to the first book of the Bible, not to Phil Collins & co.

As usual in the opera the first track is a suite which introduces the main musical themes that will come later. "Introduzione: Atto primo" is mainly ambient music but played by a symphonic orchestra instead of by synths, with more than a touch of krautrock. It's like he has realized to have collected enough money from his pop period and now can return to the experimental music that he likes. Who knows his first albums (before La Voce Del Padrone) knows what I mean. So forget the 80s. This is the start of a new era (or even a "new age") for Battiato which will lead to his monumental "Gilgamesh". Since now on Battiato will alternate experiments classically oriented like this opera and albums more in line with his 80s but with a better quality.

What follows is effectively an opera, and let me say that in term of composition I think it's really better than things like Ca Ira. Also Battiato sings sometimes and his vice is the only non-operatic.

There are some highlights like "Simon Petra" that's a fantastic track. The lyrics are in various languages other than Italian, as some are directly taken from middle eastern texts. Battiato is very expert in middle eastern cultures and history.

I think that this is one of the best things ever released by Battiato and it's his return to music that's really progressive. Not Zeuhl even if operatic, but it surely has an appeal for who likes Setna, Xing Sa, Universal Totem Orchestra and Eskaton (the light side of Zeuhl).

Unlike the mentioned opera on which Roger Waters has spent 18 years, this one is not pretentious and the compositions denote a musical skill of a different level.

A journey in the space and in the time. A masterpiece.

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Posted Friday, May 11, 2012 | Review Permalink

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