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Lagartija Ricordi? album cover
3.77 | 20 ratings | 5 reviews | 10% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 2009

Songs / Tracks Listing

01. primo contatto (3:52)
02. istinti (3:42)
03. monade (4:57)
04. sospesa (5:24)
05. ricordi (2:50)
06. neve di nazareth (4:03)
07. serena danza (4:45)
08. lacrime inconcluse (11:21)

Line-up / Musicians

-Sara Aliani / vocals
-Fabrizio Maffei / bass
-Andrea Poggi / guitars, lyrics
-Cristian Piga / saxophone
-Michele Molinari / drums
-Fabrizio Delledonne / piano, keyboards

-Eliana Cruz / clarinet (3)

Releases information

CD: self-released 2009

Thanks to finnforest for the addition
and to finnforest for the last updates
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LAGARTIJA Ricordi? ratings distribution

(20 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(10%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(55%)
Good, but non-essential (25%)
Collectors/fans only (10%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

LAGARTIJA Ricordi? reviews

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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Finnforest
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars An enticing slice of life

I still love to be surprised by music and it's usually the lesser-known bands who do it. Lagartija are a 5-piece band from Piacenza, Italy. They formed in October of 2008 and recorded their material quite quickly, releasing "Ricordi? (Remember?)" in May 2009. Musically Lagartija is a fascinating chameleon who took my ear instantly. They are an example of modern Italian progressive rock with RPI sub characteristics who may have attributes of other subgenres too. While not obviously influenced by the classic 70s Italian scene, they possess the same free spirit of experimentation those bands had in an updated, yet still richly Italian-vibed sound. There is a bit of everything here: rock, alt-lounge, smoky jazz-rock, and a bit of avant-garde. There are tons of sax and piano, Italian vocals, and dramatic artistry (they've even employed ballet around them as they perform live). One can hear some post-rock influence at times, other times the guitar can be more aggressive yet still hypnotic.

The compositions are often moody and sparse, sometimes they are busy and upbeat, yet they are always fulfilling. Frequently, the clean electric guitars of Andrea Poggi will be strumming as a base point to counter the excellent piano and synth of Fabrizio Delledonne. The rhythm section of Fabrizio Maffei and Michele Molinari is self-assured while not trying to be flashy, rather supporting the songs. Sara Aliani's vocals are emotionally confident yet fragile sometimes, introspective, somewhere between Arpia's Paola Feraiorni and Cat Power. Perhaps the most overtly "lead" instrument in many cases is the sax work of Christian Piga. His presence is strong although not in an attacking VDGG way, but often a more soothing and laid-back way. The final presentation is a sophisticated, eclectic mix of dreamy tracks somewhere between jazzy rock, post-rock, and Italian prog, but never committing to just one dance.

A truly great rhythm of crisp guitar and drums coaxes sweetness from e-piano and sax in "Primo Contatto (First Contact)." Oh how I wish I knew what the lyrics meant on this album, because the music takes me places. Shimmering key effects gives a spacious feeling towards the end. "Istinti" layers a lovely synth over sax and fades too soon. "Monade" is a stunning track where guest clarinetist Eliana Cruz lays an intoxicating solo over an ever building stormcloud before Aliani releases the rain in a vocal that instantly conjures Sigur Ros in my head, followed by a lovely rainbow of harmonized vocals over piano. A fantastic, blissful piece of playing on everyone's part. "Sospesa" again lays on the heavenly piano with fine work by Poggi and Molinari in the pacing. The title track has some really clever change-ups and an especially fun, punchy little piano part that makes me do some "air keys" each time I listen. I must look like an idiot when I listen to this CD in the car because my head is swaying back and forth and bopping up and down. Strong playing and a hint of darkness permeate "Neve di Nazareth." "Serena Danza" grabs my heart and never lets it go, the piano in the opening reminding me of some of my favorite Italian prog like QVL, with a classically tinged, formal feel. The vocal and sax lay on the emotion to lovely backing chords. Oh, nice stuff, as the piano comes back at the end. The 11-minute closer "Lacrime Inconcluse" builds to the most muscular moments with even some monster looped guitar chugs that sound like the tanks rolling into town, and lots of spirited jamming by all members.

"Ricordi?" was a pure pleasure to discover out there in cyberspace and I strongly encourage this band to stick together and make another album. There is great talent here and strong songwriting potential. For a self-released project the sound quality and mix are superb, you can hear everything very well. The back cover photo was a real treat as well, showing family members of guitarist Poggi dancing in the back yard. It makes the overall package so much more meaningful to me when bands share something intimate rather than some giant spaceshape created by a media design company. The album is dedicated to Poggi's father who is shown on the album cover. This delightful little band is my underground find of 2010 so far, so I encourage you RPI hounds to track this down if you liked the groups I found last year like Architrave Independente and Il Babau & I Maledetti Cretini. This is very different than the "normal RPI band" but just as rewarding.

Review by Todd
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Rock Progressivo Italiano!
4 stars 4.5 stars for this modern RPI gem

Lagartija is one of the examples of outstanding modern RPI, a band that can take the spirit of the 1970s and blend it with modern expression and sensibilities to create superb music. Like the great Italian masters, they beautifully and honestly combine various influences (modern alternative, jazz, even some post-rock), all the while pouring in their soul--2009's "Ricordi?" is no detached, virtuosic display, but rather a heartfelt collection of beautifully assembled creations.

The overall feel for me is nostalgia, sometimes melancholic, other times joyous and exhilarating. I get the sense of walking through my grandparents' house for the first time in several years, seeing things very differently from my memory. The music is for the most part fairly laid back, content to let the listener get lost in the hooks, grooves, and riffs, not worrying about a pressured pace. There is abundant piano, both acoustic and electric, as well as other keyboards, provided by Fabrizio Delledonne. The fabulous saxophone, along with piano one of the two mainstays of RPI, is played by Cristian Piga. The tight, subtle rhythm section of Fabrizio Maffei on bass and Michele Molinari on drums is ever-present, never overstated. The guitar textures of Andrea Poggi are intricately woven. Finally, the warm, inviting voice of Sara Aliani is for me the jewel in this crown--it's a voice that rings familiar and does not put listeners off, really beautiful. The vocal lines are often complementary to the sometime dissonance, other times running counter to it and providing needed relief. Like the other instruments, Sara's voice is very comfortable with itself. Though the music is sometimes a bit unsettling, her voice very rarely is, providing shelter from the swirling sounds around it.

Every time I listen to the album, whenever a song begins, I think, yes, this one's my favorite. I just can't pick one. Each of the songs are like different facts of the same gem, each coming at the listener using familiar, similar perspectives, but each with its own angle. The longest is "Lacrime Inconcluse," logging in at over 11 minutes, and it contains some of the most ecstatic moments on the album (like the segment around the three minute mark, with Piga's sax taking over for Sara's voice, as the other instruments churn out some of the most emphatic music of the album). Compositionally there are some surprises, but the real strength of this album is in its ability to pull you in, almost seductively.

I hope the band has yet more to give and doesn't become one of the too-frequent one-offs in RPI, but even if they do they will have left a remarkable document. The album is available directly from the band, through Camelot Club, and Greg Walker/Synphonic stocks it as well. Seek it out. 4.5 stars.

Review by seventhsojourn
4 stars Well, I sure wasn't prepared for this one. Ricordi? (2009), the first and only release so far by young Italian band Lagartija, is a perfect example of just how eclectic the RPI sub-genre really is. Mixing elements of jazz, indie and classical music, Lagartija could perhaps be described as a female fronted alt-RPI band. They may not fit the description of ''textbook'' RPI, but they do instead bring untamed modernism to the sub-genre.

The tone is set from the start with the trio of lead instruments combining to good effect on the mid-tempo groove of PRIMO CONTATTO. Shimmering electric piano, jangling guitar and jazzy saxophone provide the ideal bedrock for Sara Aliani's sensitive vocals on this track. The classically inspired SERENA DANZA is a beautiful piece, built around Fabrizio Delledonne's doleful acoustic piano. MONADE also begins in restrained mood with piano accompaniment and snare-drum rim taps, but midway through the song Aliani lets loose with typical Italian fervour during an intense duet with Cristian Piga's saxophone. More of that famous Italian spirit is evident on the edgy LACRIME INCONCLUSE, which meanders for the first half of its 11- minutes before bursting into life. The band's collective imagination is given free rein during the cathartic second-half jam, with some uncharacteristically raw guitar and an hypnotic bass ostinato.

This album's overall slow pace and laid-back atmosphere make it perfect late-night music. It's not a traditional RPI album, so it requires a leap of faith. Imagine you are standing on the precipice of RPI... now jump.

Review by Mellotron Storm
4 stars Well i'll join in with the same praise that Jim,Todd an Chris have heaped upon this Italian band. All it took for me were the first five seconds of the first song to stop me in my tracks and win me over.That melancholic mood with electric piano will do that to me.While the bio for them here states that they have influences from Jazz, Post-Rock, Prog-Rock and more, it's their seeming united affection for RADIOHEAD that comes through the most on this album. Female vocals, sax, electric piano and the percussion standout the most in this melancholic record.

"Primo Contattio" opens sounding pretty amazing, I just wish they prolonged the electric piano and melancholic vibe further along before the vocals joined in. No matter we also get some sax in this great sounding opener. "Istinti" opens with drums and electric piano before the vocals join in. Sax before 1 1/2 minutes as we get the same vibe as the opening track. "Monade" is melancholic with piano only to start then reserved vocals and percussion join in.The vocals and sound turn passionate after 2 minutes then we get piano only again 3 1/2 minutes in. Male vocals for the only time follow. Some guest clarinet in this one too.

"Sospesa" opens with piano, guitar and a beat as the reserved vocals join in. Organ before 3 minutes in this excellent instrumental section.Vocals are back briefly then the sax kicks in. "Ricordi" sounds so good to start as it reminds me of ANEKDOTEN.That changes when the focus turns to the vocals and sax. "Neve Di Nazareth" continues with the melancholic and dark mood with sax helping out. "Serena Danza" has these passionate vocals after 2 minutes as the guitar, drums, piano and sax help out. "Lacrime Inconcluse" is the closing track and the longest by far at almost 11 1/2 minutes. It's mid-paced with sad vocals and sound early on. A calm after 1 1/2 minutes then it picks up with floating organ. Nice. Vocals kick in with passion before 3 minutes. Sax then leads when the vocals stop. A powerful section follows. It settles with vocals around 6 1/2 minutes. Abrasive guitar comes in after 8 minutes right to the end. Nice.

They've chosen the ingredients that i'm drawn to with this their debut album. A solid 4 stars.

Review by apps79
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars A young Italian band from Piacenza, which was established in 2008 as a six-piece act with female singer Sara Aliani, Fabrizio Maffei on bass, Andrea Poggi on guitar, Cristian Piga on sax, Michele Molinari on drums and Fabrizio Delledonne on keyboards.They recorded their debut ''Ricordi?'' in May/June 2009 at Mofia Studios in Piacenza and self-released it the same year.

The sound of Lagartija is quite strange.It is a modern Art Rock album with evident Post Rock vibes, having the depth of the genre but lacking their dynamics.The keyboard and piano parts though has some sort of vintage feel, coming from somewhere near Canterbury around mid-70s and featuring very smooth organ and especially electric piano vibes.This feeling is strengthened also by the constant and melodic use of saxes by Piga.Antique seeking Nuns often spring to mind while listening to Lagartija.Sara Aliani has an excellent and clear voice, somewhat reminiscent to that of Simona Rigano of Conqueror fame.All tracks have a very somber mood, being very sensitive and atmospheric compositions with balanced instrumentation, but the limited presence of some more evident electric guitars make the album a better listening for background music, despite its true artistic value.The overall result is good, most of the tracks have enough different movements to catch the attention of the listener, but the last and longest one is the only piece with some true energy.

I think lovers of more emotional and laid-back compositions will admire Lagartija's approach.''Ricordi?'' is a succesful first work by the group, which though has some space for improvement.Recommended.

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