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5 stars This second album of the multi-talented "supergroup" from Argentina is probably one of the most sophisticated and beautiful albums from South America.

Both Lito Vitale and his sister Liliana, not to forget the other musicians, are capturing something timeless which stands out unfaded some thirty years after released, and are extremely capable despite their young age. Classical training rules here..........

Symphonic, yes, but on this album you can almost touch the musicians inner moneymaking here, only the joy of music. Anyone with a ear for music far beyond time and universe, this is simply THE record to have, i have'nt tried the CD version, but at least the private Ciclo label LP with the handsome hand-made cover and booklet-on-rail is really worth the quite high price for a mint example.

What are you waiting for........go out and buy this!!!

Report this review (#18705)
Posted Thursday, June 2, 2005 | Review Permalink
Cesar Inca
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars M.I.A.'s second album finds this peculiar ensemble exploring the realms of acoustic folk and Renaissance-inspired pastoral music with particular interest; even if this stuff is not all that is represented in the album's repertoire, it is indeed the most recurrent factor. The Baroque academicism is also very present here, especially in many of the piano parts. The harmonic basis for the first three tracks heavily rely on the arpeggio sequences delivered on classical guitars and/or grand piano, with the female and/or male vocals strongly staging the main melodic lines: the sung parts not only tell tales of sweet princesses and majestic windmills, but they also incarnate the main motifs to the songs, providing an evidently bucolic ambience of ancient enchantments and troubadour stories. Track 2 'Crisálida, Mi Niña' is a bit more surprising than the other two, since it comprises some symphonic nuances on the keyboard department, which add an air of mystery. The more habitual sense of energy of M.I.A. first emerges in track 4, titled 'Antiguas Campanas del Pueblo': starting with a very jazzy motif, it won't be long before it turns into an interlude of bombastic chorale sustained on a series of solemn organ layers - after that, another jazz-oriented comes out, including a very intense synthesizer solo (very much a-la 'Tarkus'). Great stuff. although not as great as the 11-minute 'Archipiélagos de Güernaclara', which is the absolute prog highlight in the album. It starts with a delicate, relaxing piano passage, soon joined and enriched by the classical guitar and Liliana Vitale's singing; next, a jazzy jam comes in and gives room for some excellent alternating guitar and piano solos, as well as the occasional introduction of a clavinet interlude, after which the electric lead guitar returns with a vengeance. Finally, a slower part takes the track to its final climax, which built upon the antagonistic contrast between the eerie Hammond Gothic-inspired layers and the fiery Akkerman-meets-Gilmour-esque guitar solo. This description is basically to let you know about its internal diversity, which is cohesively articulated, with the same level of accomplishment you may find in the longest tracks of the other two M.I.A. albums. Track 6 is pretty much similar to track 2: an acoustic piece with a progressive interlude, while the last song sticks with the old Renaissance subject. All in all, "Mágicos Juegos del Tiempo" is a very good album, but it is only recommended to those prog-heads who don't mind a certain amount of pastoral stuff and female singing in their prog; besides, the previous and posterior albums are more accomplished, and definitely, more according to the nuclear essence of prog rock, so I'll have to label this album as not overtly essential. Anyway, keep this in mind: tracks 4 & 5 are really awesome.
Report this review (#36617)
Posted Wednesday, June 15, 2005 | Review Permalink
Prog-Folk Team
2 stars Every time I pull out this album for a spin, which hasn't been that often admittedly, my first reaction is wow this is much better than I remembered, but after a few minutes, reality sets in. This is an album full of beautiful sounding songs that seem to be going somewhere, but by and large fail to live up to their promise. If you follow my reviews you know how I love concurrent male and female vocals, and this effort by Mia is one long inter gender serenade, proving that those parameters alone are not enough to satisfy me. The voices of Liliana and Alberto tend to be on the precious side, and any edge is reserved for some of the instrumental runs such as the organ in Antiguas campanas de pueblo and the guitars in the album's epic Archipielagos de Guernaclara, resulting in a dichotomy that the band is unable to reconcile. In other areas, the folkloric sound is precariously balanced with classical styled piano and tends to fall off the precipice.

The best material is that which demonstrates an integration of the various ideas expounded upon willy nilly on other tracks. In particular "Crisalida, mi ninia" and "Corales de la cantata Saturno" hit all the sweet spots. The live bonus tracks show a bit of cutting loose on the part of the singers, with the best being "Caja del viento", but some of the vocal histrionics on the rest of the bonus material, while impressive, sound a bit loony, almost as if they finally got cut loose and decided to make the most of it. But to be honest, a lot of this album is just plain boring and slow moving, except when it gets boring and noodling. I suppose one could call Mia eclectic, but to me they are mostly missing in action.

Report this review (#157895)
Posted Sunday, January 6, 2008 | Review Permalink
3 stars Probably the most weak album of this group It is not so inspired like the first one, where he presents any melodic imbalances that make it not much bored, but it still contains many interesting moments. The musician presents some breaks that are unnecessary, losing so quality. However, I think that it is possible to hear from time to time.
Report this review (#177036)
Posted Wednesday, July 16, 2008 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars In January 77' a slightly refined M.I.A. line-up enters the Netto Studios to record the ensemble's sophomore effort.Juan Del Barrio had parted ways with the rest of the team and Lito Vitale became the responsible man for all the album's keyboards.Instead Nono Belvis was promoted to a full-time member next to Alberto Munoz, thus M.I.A. had now two guitarists/bassists.Daniel Curto's percussion appear only in a couple of tracks.The album was dealing with the life of an imaginery character named Juliana Gabina, from childhood through adolescence, and was released later during the year on Ciclo 3.

The first few tracks follow the path of pastoral Symphonic/Folk Rock, similar to CELESTE and PREMIATA FORNERIA MARCONI, dominated by the work of Vitale on keyboards and piano as well as the acoustic guitars.Very soft and delicate musicianship with plenty of sensitive polyphonic lines and light Classical influences in the piano themes, while the switch between acoustic and electric guitars are numerous, though the later are characterized by a very soft touch, hardly recognizable.With ''Antiguas Campanas Del Pueblo'' M.I.A. shift towards a more keyboard-driven Symponic Rock ala E.L.P. with nice organ moves surrounding a melancholic Liliana Vitale voice, yet Lito Vitale's work on synths and Hammond organ is really remarkable and almost unmistakable.The long ''Archipielagos De Guernaclara'' shows M.I.A's diversity as a group, as the music ranges from Classical piano themes to rural Folk Rock to semi-loose Jazz Rock with different variations throughout.A rather incosistent piece with unrelated moods, yet the technical efficiency of the group is really great.''Romanza Para Una Mujer Que'' is too soft and mellow Folk Rock with measured keyboard passages, elegant flutes and of course acoustic soundscapes, but the middle-placed instrumental part with the powerful keyboards and rhythm section is very good.Closing cut ''Corales De La Cantata Saturno'' is an almost Medieval-flavored choir-type song with Lito Vitale's harsichord and organ in evidence, still deeped in his Classical influences, and a really beautiful choir delivering very emotional and grandiose singing.

The same album was reissued in 1993 with no less than five bonus tracks as extra material, all coming from M.I.A.'s concert at Teatro Santa Maria in 1978.Nothing very close to the band's classic sound, most of these pieces range from Acoustic Folk to Folk Rock with tons of (quite excellent and mostly female) vocals and basically acoustic instrumentation, even some mandolin can be heard in a pair of tracks.

''Magicos juegos del tiempo'' isn't a flawless album.At moments it seems that it desperately needs some more uplifting mood or additional energy and the music can get too soft.But some magical passages with beautiful melodies and thrilling vocal lines are also present.Recommended, especially if you love Classical-inspired Prog Folk.

Report this review (#1009883)
Posted Friday, August 2, 2013 | Review Permalink

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