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Fabrizio De André - Non al denaro non all'amore nè al cielo CD (album) cover

NON AL DENARO NON ALL'AMORE NÈ AL CIELO

Fabrizio De André

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octopus-4
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
RIO/Avant/Zeuhl Team
4 stars I'm quite surprised to see that this album doesn't have any review. This album (Not at Money, not at Love neither at Heaven) is less intense than his previous masterpiece "La Buona Novella" and even if based on the concept of Edgar Lee-Masters' Spoon River is more a collection of songs than a concept album.

Defining it prog is hard but it contains some of the most famous songs ever written by "Faber".

Based on classical and acoustic guitar, with many influences which go from the acoustic country-rock on "Un matto" and "Un Giudice" to the French Medieval flavour of "Un Blasfemo" has its strength in the highly poetical lyrics, and it shouldn't surprise being the poetry of Lee- Masters the concept. If you really want to appreciate this album manage to get a translation of the lyrics.

The opening track "Dormono sulla collina"(They sleep on the hill) is a summary of what you can expect in the album. It briefly mentions some characters not so important to have an entire song based on them apart of "Jones the musician". The music is based on minor chords with an orchestral arrangement that make it sound like a movie soundtrack until it turns into acoustic.

"Un Matto" (A Fool) is a slow country-rock song based on acoustic guitar and violin. Probably the easier listening of the whole album.

"Un Giudice" (A Judge) is the most famous song of the album, mainly becaus eof a very hard sentence "A dwarf is a bastard for sure because his heart is too close to his asshole". The dwarf is the Judge who in life was used to send people to death as revenge against people who considered him a half-man. Musically is another country piece with a non- country tempo, based on acoustic bass and guitar.

"Un Blasfemo" (A Blaspheme) goes back to the "La Buona Novella" themes. About religion and intolerance. "They killed me because I said that God fooled the first man" and "Not God, bot somebody who invented him, constraints us to dream in an enchanted garden". The song starts with flute and acoustic bass, then voice and classical guitar, finally cymbals. The flavour is medieval with a bit of French a-la-Brassens. My fav on this album.

"Un Malato di cuore" (A heart-illed) is a sad slow song about an illed boy who dies while kissing his first love. Keyboard, bass and classical guitar for a mixture of French and country.

"Un Medico" (A Medician) has a grotesque start with violins on a melody that reminds to XIX century's Italian Opera (I mean Rossini). The chords are everything but trivial with sudden changes in scale and pitch.

"Un Chimico" (A Chemistry) is Dylanesque, based on finger-picking acoustic guitar.

"Un Ottico" (an Optician) starts Frenchy, then goes into a sort of psychedelia as the subject of the song is a metaphor of drugs and acid allucinations. The lenses sold by the opticians are clearly referred to acid. The lyrics of the psychedelic part are just descriptions of allucinations but with a lot of references. Back to France on the final.

Finally "Il Suonatore Jones" (Jones the Musician) is another sad slow song full of regret for the past (even if he says "it ended with no regret at all). The best lyrics of the album, maybe. The track is based on classical guitar and flute.

I can't give it 5 stars because even if it's clearly a masterpiece, this is not progressive rock, but I think that anybody who looks for good music full of contents can be happy to have it in his collection.

4 stars.

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Send comments to octopus-4 (BETA) | Report this review (#292256)
Posted Wednesday, July 28, 2010 | Review Permalink
Warthur
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars This folky concept album based on the Spoon River Anthology is, like the source material, essentially a collection of character studies, each song revolving around a character from the Edgar Masters poems. Although the musical backing by Fabrizio De André and Nicola Piovani isn't full-on prog - more of a blend of influences from Italian folk and classical music - but at the same time these are also the sorts of influences the Italian prog bands of the time liked to introduce into their music, so fans of 1970s Italian bands like PFM or Quella Vecchia Locanda could do a lot worse than checking this out to see where Italian contemporary singer- songwriter stuff was at the time. Other listeners will find this a highly competent singer- songwriter release, though you may lose a little if you don't speak Italian and songs with lyrics you don't understand bug you.

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Send comments to Warthur (BETA) | Report this review (#922887)
Posted Sunday, March 03, 2013 | Review Permalink

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