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Angelo Branduardi - Domenica e lunedý CD (album) cover


Angelo Branduardi

Rock Progressivo Italiano

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RIO/Avant/Zeuhl,Neo & Post/Math Teams
2 stars It's clear that Angelo Branduardi was probably bored of being a minstrel came from one thousand years before. He's grown older and the 80s have left him in a critical situation with the flops of his last three albums. He seems doomed to the end of his career, and struggling to renew his music and image and remaining credible at the same time he tries to repeat the formula of his last successful work by putting in music a quite obscure for me Italian poet, some "Franco Fortino" (I'm not an expert in literature, he may be famous...) instead of Yeats.

The music is more pop-folk oriented but still contains the classical elements and sometimes the medieval flavor emerges again. The country-blues experiments of Il Ladro and Pane e Rose have demonstrated that excellent musicians like Jorma Kaukkonen are not enoughto make a good album, so this time the old collaborator Maurizio Fabrizio is back to the guitar, even if there are still some blues notes coming from the dobro guitar played by Massimo Luca.

The lyrics are interesting, but being them taken from a poet, it was a target not too difficult to reach. Musically Branduardi is a very skilled composer and player and this album's lineup is excellent, but he's not yet out of the tunnel. "Si Puo' Fare" was a good album on which Angelo went back to his origins. This is another attempt to sound "differently" on a direction different from the failing past experiments, but it's still the wrong way even though not so bad.

RPI fans could find it somewhat interesting as each song sounds very "Italian", but calling it prog is hazardous. Angelo will effectively find a way later, but this is not yet the right one.

A fans only release, IMO.

Report this review (#542472)
Posted Wednesday, October 5, 2011 | Review Permalink
3 stars "Domenica e Lunedi" is the album with which Angelo Branduardi returned as a mature artist, relying on ( nearly* ) everything he had built on along the years, and, in many ways, it was a real return to form. On the other hand, this album had been distinctively his most commercial effort to date, more than once it saw him crossing the border from folky singer/songwriter-ship to Italo Pop, especially with the beginning, the title track and "Fou de Love". But, my friends, he didn't sacrifice his identity for it, he simply developed further and, in the end, was supposed to arrive there from the beginning... melting the different styles ( including Americana - but this time: thumbs up for the arrangements, they are lush instead of dire and the slide guitar/dobro appears where it's actually fitting only ! ) into one, even if it were commercial pressures that may have asked him to do so.

*What's absent on the album is the strong classical flavour of previous works like "Il Signore di Baux", "Il Libro" or "Natale" ( only at the very end of the album you'll get a glimpse of it ). I think that Branduardi drew a line between "regular albums" and his forthcoming "Futuro Antico"-Project by then, saving those influences for the latter, while the folklore-touch did still play an important role on albums like this - making sure that after all it's still Branduardi you're listening to !

This is a very fine album with beautiful melodies and a happy, reflective instead of a sombre mood most of the time. The songs - other than on its predecessor - are mainly of superior quality, and given that "La Donna della Sera" ( for once my ears start complaining about "clanging drums" again here ) and "Tenera Nemica" are the weakest tracks on board - the both of them would have made outstanding tracks on "Si puo Fare" - the fan ought to be more than satisfied.

Maurizio Fabrizio was back. But, don't be mistaken, it's not his guitar delivering those outstanding moments in "I Santi" - it's Pedro Javier Gonzales ! But for sure Fabrizio helped to make this album a coherent and convincing affair - he's a brilliant arranger, you know. "I santi" is just what you expect of ( and wanna hear from ) Branduardi if you're a fan. Another classic, as is the light-weight, joyous chant of "Le dodici Lune". How long did we have to wait to get stuff like that from this man again ? Songs in which his violin really starts to shine and the overall feel is uplifting ? Songs in which the melodies enchant you and make you feel good ? Well, let's not forget "Barbablu" on "Pane e Rose" or the title-track of "Si puo Fare". But for years we had been held short of joyous tracks like this coming one after another on ONE album of the man.

The soaring, atmospheric ballads are back again, too. "Giovanna d'Arco", "Il Trionfo di Bacco e Arianna", "C'e una sala in Paradiso"... wonderful, I can't choose which one of them is best, light as a feather and full of rich harmony ( and those little extras in the arrangements that make you wanna go back and give them another spin ). I think that this kind of relaxed soundscapes was what Branduardi had been up for with "Indiani" on the previous album. But while he sadly failed on that - here he succeeded in every respect. The great and sensitive musicianship of the whole ensemble coming through with every note - so I have to give them an extra-mention. Fabulous performances throughout from everyone !

The closing track, "Un Angelo del Cielo", is the piano ballad. Again I'd like to make a comparism to "Si puo Fare", where "Prima di Ripartire" made at least a good ending. This one, with Branduardi daring to give it a chamber string-chart as an instrumental coda, is outshining it by all means.

The melodies were back, and the whole album is a warm and pleasant listen throughout, cohesive and versatile but never leaving the pace of radio-friendly mainstream sounds. And that's the only thing that's keeping it from a 4-star-rating: never more obvious than here Branduardi gave us sheer POP even with the rather traditional tracks - and if you don't like a song such as "Breakfast in America" f.e. because it's no prog at all, how can you ever like stuff like "Le Dodici Lune" ? If you don't have a soft spot for Italo Pop how can you fall for "Fou de Love" ? I'm telling you, the both of them plus "I Santi" are my favourites here, although there may be songs of more merit for the average prog-fan. And the average prog-fan won't be so very happy I suppose.

But as a long-term-fan of the artist you're supposed to be utterly happy with "Domenica e Lunedi", lending it a 5 star-rating for Branduardi having regained his bearings - which would surely be one star too much compared to "Gulliver, La Luna..." or "Canta Yeats", in spite of its quality, cause it's not as essential as those. It's a perfect album for those who don't mind the strong commercial appeal and attitude with which it was produced. But it's as far from "Progressive Rock music" as James Last is.

It's a contemporary classic in Branduardi's catalogue. That's why I can't give it more than 3 stars on P.A. !

Report this review (#634879)
Posted Thursday, February 16, 2012 | Review Permalink

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  • 1 stars Glore (Lorenzo Gentilini)

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