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Espíritu - Libre Y Natural CD (album) cover

LIBRE Y NATURAL

Espíritu

Symphonic Prog


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Cesar Inca
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Espíritu's second album 'Libre y Natural' sounds more aggressive than its predecessor, while maintaining the same melodic sensibility; the lyrics themselves reveal a pessimistic view of society and humankind (as opposed to the more high spirited, introspective disposition in the lyrics of 'Crisálida'). Just like 'Crisálida', 'Libre y Natural' is a concept-album consisting of a continuing sequence of eight tracks. The original keyboardsman Gustavo Fedel had been replaced by Ciro Fogliatta, who now introduces a harder edge to the organ and synthesizer sounds. Besides, Osvaldo Favrot takes his guitar playing into the jazz-fusion realm, and so does the rhythm section. All these elements fused together resulted in a very somber album, which combines the usual colors of symphonic prog and typical touches of South American acoustic sensibility with the dark intensity of (e.g.) Mahavishnu Orchestra, Relayer-era Yes, and Red-era KC. The organ intro that kicks off the album is short enough as to let the listener know the sense of urgency, soon led by the inputs of guitar, bass and drum kit. The soft nature of track 2 and the sung parts of track 3 are only instances of momentary introspectiveness before the predominant edgy feel takes over. The hardest edges of this album are contained in tracks 4 and 7, and the second half of track 6, cleverly culminated in the closing number; it is particularly a pity that the closing jam of track 4 doesn't expand a bit longer in order to create some appropriate climax for the stuff that's being carried on, but it is a minor objection. On the other hand, track 5 retains pretty much of the acoustic flavour of the debut album, with a candid spirit and some beautiful lines on acoustic piano while the rhythm acoustic guitar and the sung parts display the basic harmonies. The fact that track 5 is basically an acoustic reprise of track 4's sung section makes it proper to continue with the album's overall concept. In my opinion, since this is a more varied recording, accentuating the dramatic contrasts in mood and tempo, 'Libre y Natural' is an improvement compared to their debut album (which is also excellent, no doubt about it!). All in all, it is just a matter of preferences in colours: depending on if you're more attracted to the explosive chiaroscuro of this record or the rainbow-like emotionalism of 'Crisálida', you will prefer the first or the second album by this excellent band - my personal option goes to 'Libre y Natural'.
Report this review (#29053)
Posted Saturday, May 15, 2004 | Review Permalink
5 stars 4,5 stars. In the last 5 year of 70s, Argentina was absolutly at the top of simphonic prog scene.In this period was realeased a lot of prog masterpieces (Mia, Bubu, Alas, Arco Iris, Banana, ...), among this, there is surely Libre Y Natural. Second effort of the Espirtu. Usually Crisalida their first effort is considered their best album, but i am not agree, this album envolve you much more, give you more strong emotion, Crisalida was more soft. The strong point as many argentinian album are the melody, maybe only in Italian Prog you can find the same great quality. One extra point to be a concept album!
Report this review (#253799)
Posted Tuesday, December 1, 2009 | Review Permalink
apps79
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Heading for the recordings of a second album, Espiritu had to deal with a major departure, Gustavo Fedel left the band to join Generación Cero, he was immediately replaced by Ciro Fogliatta, member of the legendary Argentinian Beat band Los Gatos.Their new album was recorded at the Phonalex Studios, a regular home for major Argentinian Prog and Rock bands.It was titled ''Libre y natural'' and came out again on the Talent label in 1976.

Stylistically this one follows the vein of the previous release, establishing the band as one of the not so frequent entries in the Argentinian Symphonic Rock scene.With Fogliatta making heavy use of the same keyboard equipment as Fedel, Espiritu played a very YES-influenced Progressive Rock with big time symphonic arrangements, flashy keyboard parts, decent interplays and a normal taste of the South-American lands due to the Spanish vocals and laid-back acoustic passages.I would definitely expect some sort of originality, but the guys never escaped from the strong YES-rooted textures, which sees them making use of dominant, upfront bass lines and quirky keyboard splashes with the Moog synthesizer in evidence.In fact the more pastoral parts of the album also happen to be the more original ones, eventually giving space to a more Latin-spiced sound with a poetic lyricism and a rural enviroment.That's not to say that the richer movements are of a lower interest, the band sounded pretty great at moments, offering some very good instrumental parts with a couple of extraordinary guitar performances by Osvaldo Favrot, always in a YES vein, and cool keyboard lines on organ and synths.Lots of fine interplays to go along with some top notch complex ideas and Carlos Goler's outstanding drumming, which even flirts with jazzy patterns.

YES-influenced Prog Rock.You shouldn't expect that by a South-American band, but Espiritu did play so.At least they were pretty good and always made some room for some local acoustics during the gentle moments.Nice and recommended album.

Report this review (#1388585)
Posted Friday, March 27, 2015 | Review Permalink

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