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Banco Del Mutuo Soccorso - Io Sono Nato Libero CD (album) cover


Banco Del Mutuo Soccorso


Rock Progressivo Italiano

4.36 | 992 ratings

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James Lee
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars "Io Sono Nato Libero" is many things: impressive musically, emotionally expressive and incredibly well-produced for 1973. The intricate sections are reminiscent of ELP, but more satisfying in that they incorporate every instrument perfectly instead of being synth-heavy. The singer wisely keeps his delivery flat during the more dramatic swells, which helps trim the pompous factor considerably. The range of tones is notable; from beautiful classical piano and guitar to free-jazz craziness to floating ambience, they demonstate exceptional mastery of diverse elements. I even hear some Indian percussion, which many of the prog bands seemed to avoid (maybe after the late 60s everyone was tired of the psychedelic raga influence- who cares, it sounds great here). There's also some proto-industrial synth noise rhythms! "Non mi rompete" has a more lighthearted touch, and thus reminds me of some of the second side of PINK FLOYD's "Atom Heart Mother"...and the synth at the end brings to mind Wakeman's work on "And You and I", high praise indeed. "La Citta' Sottile" adds some Howe-type guitars and Tony Banks piano (including a part that resembles the intro to "The Lamb Lies down on Broadway") which I would mark as derivative if BANCO hadn't been their contemporaries- or maybe even predecessors. "Dopo..." features more impeccable playing, but the vocal (especially the spoken sections) are just a tiny bit too musical- theater. Finally, "Traccia II" has a nice synth-classical feel not unlike Wakeman or Emerson playing a more intricate MOODY BLUES composition. Criticisms? The transitions are occasionally a little clumsy, like they are too aware when they have to wrap something up but aren't sure how to do it. The synth sounds are a bit crude, but it was 1973 after all- they were probably those huge modular synths that took three hours just to coax into making a noise. Is it politically charged? If I understood the language I might be able to say whether that element adds or detracts from the musical statement; this album must have an extra level of meaning for the fluent. I enjoyed it almost without reserve; I would not hesitate to recommend this to any moderate to hardcore prog fan. This is undoubtedly a seminal work, for the remarkable achievements on the album as well as inspiration to the Italian prog community- and beyond.
James Lee | 4/5 |


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