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Franco Battiato - L'Era Del Cinghiale Bianco CD (album) cover


Franco Battiato


Rock Progressivo Italiano

3.37 | 34 ratings

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4 stars In 1979, after some years of soporific avant-garde, Franco Battiato woke up and turned his attention to the public. However "L'era del cinghiale bianco" is not just an easy pop album or a bleak effort to reach a commercial success. In that period the "Halcyon days" of prog were gone and Franco Battiato, like many other artists, was looking for new musical ways. Here classical music and Mediterranean and Middle- Eastern folk influences are blended with rock and pop in a very personal way, with the help of a group of excellent musicians. Lyrics don't tell stories but the words are just like "flashes" trying to suggest imagines. The result is surprisingly good!

The wild white boar is a symbol taken from the Celtic mythology and in some way the weird lyrics of the opener title track ("L'era del cinghiale bianco = The age of the white wild boar") seem to invoke the return of a new spiritual era of knowledge and wisdom. This is one of the best known Battiato's songs and it features a great interaction between the violin of Giusto Pio and the guitar of Alberto Radius (former guitarist of Formula Tre and Il Volo). The instrumental riff is very catchy and it leaves you with the hope that "the age of the white wild boar will come back soon."

Mysticism for sale. The following "Magic Shop" is about money and religion: the ironic lyrics draw a sarcastic criticism against the habit of making money from faith, while the music is light and deep with a good line of bass and soaring vocals.

"Strade dell'Est" is a kind of musical journey on the streets of the East, from Albania to Siberia, from China to Iraq, from Turkey to Russia. Great the percussion work of Tullio De Piscopo and the guitar solo of Alberto Radius. The result is an extremely interesting mix of rock and folk influences.

"Luna indiana" (Indian moon) is an instrumental track with classical influences and a nocturnal mood where the interacting of piano and violin loom a "chamber music" atmosphere, the murmured vocals appearing at the end of the track seem to introduce the slow and magical mood of the following "Il re del mondo" where "the king of the world keeps our hearts in prison".

The ethereal and mystic "Pasqua Etiope" (Ethiopic Easter) is sung in Latin. "Requiem aeternam dona eis Domine et lux perpetua luceat eis.": it sounds like a kind of exotic prayer.

The last track "Stranizza d'amuri" (Love strangeness) is sung in the dialect of Sicily and features a good percussion work and a "Mediterranean flavour".

The album is short (it lasts only 31 minutes) but every track is worth listen to. "L'era del cinghiale bianco" is still far from the clever pop of Battiato's following albums and in the whole I think that it could be an excellent addition to an Italian prog collection.

andrea | 4/5 |


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