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Alan Sorrenti

Rock Progressivo Italiano

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Alan Sorrenti Alan Sorrenti album cover
2.95 | 18 ratings | 3 reviews | 11% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 1974

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Un Viso d' Inverno (7:44)
2. Dicitencello Vuje (4:00)
3. Ma Tu Mi Ascolti (7:37)
4. Sulla Cima del Mondo (4:52)
5. Poco Pił Piano (4:05)
6. Microfoni Assassini (4:32)
7. Incrociando il Sole (4:50)

Total Time: 37:43

Line-up / Musicians

- Alan Sorrenti / vocals, acoustic & electric guitars, synthesizer AKS
- Antonio Esposito / drums & percussions
- Nero Limone / bass, fuzz bass, electric guitar
- Enzo Castella / acoustic guitar & mandolin
- Mark Harris / acoustic piano, fender piano, acoustic guitar, eminent, synthhesizer AKS
- Ettore De Carolis / strings & brass (5)

Releases information

Harvest (3C064-18059)

Mellow (MMP 237)
EMI (72438 60268 2)

Recorded at the "Chantalain" studios of Rome - autumn 1974
Studio engineering by Jerry Hudgins
Mixage by Jerry Hudgins and Michelangelo Romano

Thanks to andrea cortese for the addition
and to ProgLucky for the last updates
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ALAN SORRENTI Alan Sorrenti ratings distribution

(18 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(11%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(11%)
Good, but non-essential (39%)
Collectors/fans only (22%)
Poor. Only for completionists (17%)

ALAN SORRENTI Alan Sorrenti reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Andrea Cortese
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Alan Sorrenti's third album is oftenly considered the weakest of the three prog records he released as a prog artist at the starting point of his career. Just before he entered, definitely, mainstream pop and disco music. No epic this time but shorter tunes with the exception of two tracks that are above seven minutes long. To be honest, I admit the sound isn't too much different from the previous stuff even if, certainly, less adventurous and warmer. His vocals still remains a little bit intricate and "irritating" but he sings in a more melodic and romantic vein. Not bad, after all. In fact I really like this album, and have also a special spot for "Dicintecello Vuje", a traditional neapolitan song sung in neapolitan language very nicely arranged with electric guitar, fender piano counterpoints and uplifting vocal tonalities.

I think all the seven tracks are a pleasant listening, warm, melodic, romantic but weird at the very same time. The opener "Un Viso d'Inverno" explains it all and the mainly acoustic "Ma Tu Mi Ascolti" seems really to enlight my ears. Gentle percussions, intriguing soft vocals and good guitar's phrasing. From the fifth minute on, drums and bass take the scene for an inspired slow catchy rythm.

Side two is also moderately interesting, for all the four songs, in my opinion. "Sulla Cima del Mondo" and "Poco Pił Piano" deserve a listen, at least. The second one, in particular, features strings and brass' incursions.

"Microfoni Assassini" and "Incrociando il Sole" are also good songs, even if not outstanding pieces of art. Acoustic piano and guitar are the primary colours.

All in all, this album is good, in my humble opinion, and I disagree with the most part of the italian opinionists for whom this record is "a disappointment". Ok, it is more enjoyable than the noble predecessor albums and, for this reason, not at their prog level. Notwithstanding, Sorrenti's third work is still a good listening.

Review by micky
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars One artist that does not get a lot of discussion in prog circles, even among fans of Italian prog is Naples's own Alan Sorrenti. Sorrenti of course released Aria in 1972 which was a landmark album in Italian prog. In addition to being known for that album he is also known as having left progressive rock behind and having a 'notorious' successful career chasing the almighty Lira, not to mention those of the female persuasion. He turned musically to the most dire and despicable forms of music known to prog fans... disco and music made to make the young ladies swoon. What a waste of musical talent beh. That changeover from the music of Aria to 'Non so che darei' hahaha (check that on youtube and you'll understand) was not an abrupt or immediate one however. After Aria he released two albums that did mark a downward progression away from progressive rock. This, a self titled album from 1974 was his last gasp of the pure progressive air before we got to see him shake his moneymaker to throngs of screaming girls. The inspiration to reviewing this album came from my better half.. who noticed that his subsequent album to this has a higher rating than this album does.. and in the scope of the prog universe, this site,.. there is something very wrong with that. Even if there are no blaring saxophones, tear inducing mellotrons that scream I AM PROG HEAR ME ROAR this album is a very good album with still very strong attachment to progressive rock, also to Neopolitan music which he would also leave far behind starting with his next album.

'Un viso d'inverno' leads off the album. Of course the star of any Sorrenti album is going to be the voice of Sorrenti. I find his voice to be very hypnotic and sensual. If his voice makes ME feel that way, you could imagine the lure ..the temptation to sing to scores of pre-pubescent chicks hahah. The song, the longest on the album at just under 8 minutes is a tranquil exercise in Sorrenti's vocal abilities where he doesn't as much sing as again use his voice as an instrument dancing around the main melody in pleasant journey through the puffy white clouds in our minds. Excellent music again, not for getting revved up for the hot date, but music for rainy Saturdays when you want to be taken away to a better.. more beautiful place than the one we currently have.

'Dicitencello vuje' is next up. The song has a bit of story to it. For non-speakers of Italian the lyrical meaning of the song is lost but is a Neopolitan love song composed in 1930. It has been performed by the greatest of Opera stars in Italy like Enrico Caruso,and Pavarotti. Sorrenti's version of it on this album did not go down well and was not well received. Now from our vantage point as pure listeners who don't see the song as the equivalent of having 'The Star Spangled Banner' covered, thus mangled of course by young punks like Slayer, the song is not going to elicit the same response. What we are though, are prog fans, and I hate to say. As wonderful as Sorrenti's voice is, this song holds as much appeal to prog fans as Willie Nelson performing Jerusalem hahha.

Thankfully the next song up is a more interesting one for us. 'Ma tu mi ascolti' harkens back to the opening song in length, about seven and a half minutes, and in feel as well. A sedate song with a wonderful acoustic guitar melody and the rhythm held with simple percussion and a low in the mix electric bass. Using this sonic canvas Sorrenti takes off for the heavens again with his majestic voice taking the listener who feels as much as listens on another voyage of beauty of sound and inner mental wanderings. Wonderful music again for those rainy Saturday afternoons or a cuddle session with that special lady.

'Sulla cima del Mondo' follows next and is a more layered with synths and a more prominent bass guitar and drums. Here Sorrenti shows great range in vocal delivery shifting from strongly delivered lines to the soft and ethereal to using his voice as an instrument. Some notable yet not particularly wild shifts in tempo give the piece a nice feel with a nice synth and e-guitar section thrown in for good measure. Good song. 'Poco piu piano' is next up on the playlist. The most distinctive feature of this song is the use of violins in it which give the song a real interesting feel with some funky guitar playing. Good song.. but nothing I see the prog fan specifically will find all that interesting.

'Microfoni assassini' starts us down the homestretch of the album. Sorrenti's instrumental voice starts it going over a strong snare drum and piano melody before shifting to lyrical verse. Again.. I can't stress that even though the song may not be progressive as many see progressive that in itself does not mean the music can not be uniformly excellent. There really isn't much here again for the prog fan, but if you are looking for good music. We have another one to satisfy you. The album is brought to a close with a song very.. very close to my heart. 'Incrociando Il Sole'. Raff will hear of this when she reads this for the first time but I always took this album with me when I went to see her in Rome (as I have been saying..this is a great album). I never failed to play this song when I was flying over the Atlantic on my way back home after spending such precious time with her. I coined a term in reference to another album, another artist soon to be added to the site. Sensual Prog. My god... listening to Sorrenti's sensual ethereal voice starting this song for a verse or two is enough to bring tears to my eyes thinking about when I would see her next. If that wasn't bad enough.. after a couple of verses we get a beautiful piano melody which takes us through to the end of the song. I jest not that I remember one time that I hit repeat on this song 11 times in a row. It is memorizing and again.. will take you on a voyage if you let it and get the stick out of your ass that good music has to have thundering charges of rhythm sections, moogs, and Rickenbacker basses.

Rating the album... as pointed out in the first paragraph, I reviewed this for a specific reason. To show the dividing line for this site regarding Sorrenti's work since this site lists all albums by an artist. The ratings can be, and are in this case deceiving. My rating will not change that of course without giving a rating far exceeding what the album deserves, but maybe the review itself will for show that for anyone exploring Sorrenti past Aria. Is the album 100% prog.. no it is not,. It again is a transition album between his first albums and the progressive ABYSS of his next album. It is an album that music fans may well adore as I do. For the site... 3 stars. If you liked Aria, this album may hold some real interest to you. For myself, 4 stars. I love his voice. Not just his voice.. but love what he does with his voice as an instrument which is a common theme in Italian prog. This review is dedicated to Scott who gave me some great advice regarding inspiration and reviewing.

*new Micky review feature alert*

next review..sticking with the RPI/AR mansion 'Naples' reviewing theme here of late.... St. Just-S/T

Michael (aka Micky)

Review by andrea
3 stars On his third eponymous album Alan Sorrenti's musical approach started to change and the experimentalisms of the previous two works begun to give way to simpler forms. The arrangements are good but not so bold and challenging as in the past while a melancholic vein is always present in the lyrics and in the melodies.

The opener is a diluted ballad "Un viso d'inverno" (A face in winter), where time passes slowly while a pale sun behind the clouds tries to melt the ice. Vocals here are still used as an instrument but without taking impervious paths. "Now you know that I'm not strong / Now you know that I fear to live... I am tired and I wish a home / The one who destroyed me now shows me the way / It was late in winter when they tried to make me forget of myself / And I lost my way / I got lost" he sings in another sad diluted acoustic ballad, "Ma tu mi ascolti" (But you, are you listening to me?). On another track "Sulla cima del mondo" (On the top of the world), while the music turns to a faint honky tonk, he sings "But what do want? / I don't want to feel pain anymore / No, I don't want to suffer anymore... You are running after the time / Because you want all in a while / And you will live crying / On the top of the world". It seems almost a plan for the future: give up with experimental music and turn commercial!

On the unquiet "Microfoni assassini" (Killer microphones) he sings "Naked and trembing / Now I'm here / In front of killing microphones / In front of you that are looking from your cage / At my blooding mouth...". Well, 1974 was a difficult year for concerts in Italy and Alan Sorrenti was frequently contested by a turbulent public that in some occasion throw to him stones, empty bottles, fruits...

On this album you can also two love songs, "Poco pił piano", featuring horns and strings, and the cover of the popular traditional Neapolitan song "Dicitencello vuje", written in 1930 and reinterpreted by Alan Sorrenti in a personal way. This song was very successful as a single but it was considered as a kind of treason by old fans.

Anyway, on the final track, the dreamy "Incrociando il sole" (Crossing the sun), an hint of hope seems peering out... "Everyone is dead now / Everyone is older / But we are still together in the air / Crossing the sun...".

On the whole this album has its good moments and it could be of some interest for prog fans, but it's not an essential one.

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