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Mauro Pelosi - Al Mercato Degli Uomini Piccoli CD (album) cover


Mauro Pelosi

Rock Progressivo Italiano

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Honorary Collaborator
4 stars A sweet and delicate album!

When I was in the RPI team I could make a couple of additions to the database, one of them was Mauro Pelosi, an artist whose music was introduced to me back in 2006, and whose melancholy attracted me immediately. I don't really know why I had not reviewed this album, which I like a lot and which should be better known, at least for us, the Italian prog rock fans.

Pelosi was born in Rome and is a musically trained singer/songwriter which followed that fantastic 60s-70-s era of Italian popular music. In 1973 he released this album entitled "Al mercatto degli uomini piccoli" which features eight compositions and a total time of 37 minutes, of (in my opinion) high quality music.

It kicks off with the title track, "Al mercatto degli uomini piccoli" which is a killer track that starts softly with acoustic guitar and Pelosi's voice. A minute later drums and keyboards appear and create a fantastic atmosphere that I totally adore, in spite of the melancholic and even sad sound it may provoke. The vocals are disarming, beautiful to my ears.

"Un mattino" starts with a delicate piano sound for the first forty seconds, it makes a short stop and vocals enter a few seconds later with a heartrending sound. The rhythm may be repetitive but it is necessary in the song's essence; the mood is sad, if you are actually in the mood, you may even drop a couple of tears, so though I totally recommend it, I warn you, listen to it only if you think you can carry with it. Sigh.

"Ehi! Signore" reminds me actually a bit of Jumbo's DNA. It starts softly and after a minute it makes a changes and the song becomes incredibly beautiful with drums and both piano and keyboard sound, the atmosphere and mood are pure beauty to my ears. Later it stops and returns to the first part sound, and then the formula is repeated, because that beautiful instrumental passage returns as well.

"Non tornano piu" Oh man, this album is not really for depressive people, believe me. I love it and I am used to listen to it no matter if I am sad or not, but it always moves me. This track has also that bleak feeling. After two minutes the keyboards seem to create another mood, but no, it was only an illusion, because the song continues with the same sound and mood.

"Con te" is a nice ballad with acoustic guitars and some string orchestra instruments which IŽll be honest, I don't know if were made by the same Pelosi on keyboards, or if a mini orchestra really appeared. It is a nice track that may make you taking a deep breath.

"Ti portero via" is another extraordinary track, I really love how Pelosi's vocals get on well with both, acoustic guitar and piano, no matter which instrument is being played, they work perfectly together and reaches its goal, at least with me. His voice is pretty similar to some other 70s Italian singers, but Mauro Pelosi has its own sound, nevertheless.

"No, Io scherzo" is another mellow and calm track, in moments it may tranquilize you, the sound becomes an ally of peace and if you want, you can be part of it, just sit or lie in the place you want, close your eyes and that's it, you may bring some memories to your mind or I don't know, but I am sure you will enjoy this track, in spite of its weird last thirty seconds sound.

The last song is "Mi piacerebbe diventar vecchio insieme a te" which is a beautiful acoustic composition that starts very slow and with a low sound, seconds later it becomes a bit higher due to the feelings shared by the singer. Besides the guitar there is another instrument that can be heard as background, which adds a peculiar flavor to the music. The last part is pretty good with bass and drums included.

Now I'll be honest, talking about progressive rock, this may not be the best example, I bet you may actually ask yourself if Mauro Pelosi's music is prog or not, I don't really care, but what I can say is that to me this is a wonderful album that I adore. I invite the RPI lovers to listen to this unknown gem. My final grade will be four stars.

Enjoy it!

Report this review (#418318)
Posted Saturday, March 19, 2011 | Review Permalink
2 stars I'd never heard of singer-songwriter Mauro Pelosi until the release of UMG's Progressive Italia Gli Anni '70 Vol. 1 in 2009. Really Italian Pop with some Prog tendencies, Al Mercato Degli Uomini Piccoli is a marginal inclusion and of somewhat peculiar interest to RPI collectors. Although there are some nice moments here and there, Pelosi's second album is only for completists, or fans of symphonic pop along the lines of Riccardo Cocciante or Lucio Battisti. And I would definitely NOT recommend Al Mercato Degli Uomini Piccoli to anyone with lingering emotional problems, depressive bouts or relationship issues - the songs, both musically and lyrically, are melancholy to a fault and nearly all in a minor key. Sometimes this approach works, as in the case of Quella Vecchia Locanda's second album, but here it falls flat and leaves the listener exhausted. Even though Pelosi's debut is more proggy, Al Mercato Degli Uomini Piccoli is the better of the two if you're in the mood for it.

The title track begins innocently enough, before erupting into a wash of mournful strings, and eventually ending on a high note. "Al Mercato Degli Uomini Piccoli" deals with themes of worthlessness and unattainable romance, a constant throughout the album. "Un Mattino" may contain the most heart-wrenching description of clinical depression I've ever heard: "Cerchi nel buio e in fondo ti piace, di ricordare per farti piu male" ("You seek in the darkness and in the end, you like to remember to hurt yourself more). Clearly not for the faint of heart, the album does save face with the enjoyable "Ehi! Signore," probably the best track. Pelosi sounds more like Alvaro Fella of Jumbo here, and leaves the tortured artist routine aside long enough to spin a yarn of everyday life. Musically, "Ehi! Signore" has a lot going on and is one of the more prog-inspired songs on the album. The string accompaniment on "Non Tornano Piu" is also very tasteful and not overdone as in the first two tracks. Here Pelosi sings about his school sweetheart and how nothing in life will ever compare, so why bother trying? I appreciate Pelosi's vulnerability, but the poetic devices used and lyrical choices made are juvenile and easily dissected (even by someone who does not speak Italian fluently).

"Con Te" features some nice acoustic guitar courtesy of Pelosi, and is an upgrade in the vocal department as well. The strain and anguish in his voice has been replaced with a pure, almost child-like quality that is much preferred. "Ti Portero' Via" is interesting in that it sounds astoundingly similar to "Like Spinning Plates" by Radiohead; I don't know if the latter was inspired by or intended to emulate Pelosi or if it is merely a coincidence, but the connection is definitely there. "No, Io Scherzo" is a sweet, lightheaded affair with a little Mellotron at the end. The finale "Mi Piacerebbe Diventar Vecchio Inieme A Te" or "I'd Like To Grow Old Next To You," is a tale of unrequited love, told in the most pathetic way Pelosi could possibly muster, and puts and end to this dreadful and morose album. Perhaps some more uplifting moments could have balanced out Al Mercato Degli Uomini Piccoli and elevated it to three stars, but as it stands I cannot recommend it on its own. As a set however, Progressive Italia Gli Anni '70 Vol. 1 is an excellent value.

Report this review (#889574)
Posted Monday, January 7, 2013 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Despite released on Polydor, ''La stagione per morire'' succedded limited sells and a few broadcast aiplays.A single followed in 1973 as a taste to Pelosi's sophomore album, which was arranged by orchestral director and guitarist Pinuccio Pirazzoli.Entitled ''Al mercato degli uomini piccoli'' was again released on Polydor, in an attempt to lift Pelosi's career.

The album unfortunately was again a failure for the directory of Polydor and earned some fame many years later, especially among Prog fans in Japan and South Korea.It swirls again around a pessimistic, poetic mood, led by Pelosi's melancholic vocals, while Pirazzoli's touch in the composing field in more than evident, as the album has a strong orchestral mood throughout with heavy use of piano and strings.Piano and acoustic guitars remain the leading instruments, several tracks include the presence of a good rhythm section, while a few of them still maintain a strong Italian Folk flavor with minimalistic acoustic textures in a typical singer/songwriter style.To be fair this work sounds a bit more complicated than Pelosi's debut.The constant presence of a cinematic atmosphere and the complex orchestrations of Pirazzoli help the album to be delivered in a more demanding style overall.However its heavy lyrical content will propably prevent many non-Italian listeners from fully enjoying it.At the end it all comes to the musicianship, which is impressive at moments and this time its depressive mood works very well through the concept.

Dissapointed with the music industry, Pelosi started travelling, before returning in mid- and late-70's with two more albums, even closer to a traditional singer/songwriter style.Among his collaborators was Ricky Belloni of New Trolls/Nuova Idea fame.He then moved on to other activities, never abandoning the music field, composing and arranging pieces over the years.

Another soft Progressive/Psych/Pop Rock album from Italy, which deserves attention.Elaborate orchestrations mixed with acoustic/lyrical exercises, that create deep emotions.Recommended.

Report this review (#977490)
Posted Friday, June 14, 2013 | Review Permalink

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