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Le Orme - Felona & Sorona (English language version) CD (album) cover

FELONA & SORONA (ENGLISH LANGUAGE VERSION)

Le Orme

 

Rock Progressivo Italiano

3.72 | 89 ratings

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Easy Livin
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
4 stars Life comes from soap balls, falling from the sky

From a British perspective, interest in Italian prog (although we did not know it as such then) was initially stimulated by ELP's Manticore label taking PFM under their wing. While there was not then a headlong rush into all music Italian, where bands from that nation adopted English language lyrics, the inquisitive did take notice. (Of course the sleeve artwork here, which it turns out has nothing to do with the concept, also attracted an inquisitive mind!)

Le Orme were one such band. On this album, the lyrics throughout are provided by Peter Hammill (VDGG and solo). His words are based on a concept which originated within the band, relating to two contrasting planets which have no knowledge of each other. Felona is a happy planet whose people are sustained by "soap balls" falling from the sky. Their houses are spherical mobile homes which bounce through the countryside "like elastic whales".

Sorona on the other hand is a depressive place which is waiting for a miracle. When this conveniently comes along, the planets co- exist in harmony only briefly before the change in the equilibrium bring with it disaster to both planets. The lyrics actually tell a slightly different story to the summary on the album sleeve, but you get the picture.

OK, nice imaginative story, how about the music? There is a definite neo-prog feel throughout this album, indeed this could be the missing link from symphonic prog to neo. Considering the trio who make up the band use a sparse array of instrumentation consisting only of keyboards, guitars and drums, the sound is lush and melodic. Indeed the melodies provide the underlying strength for the album, which has a generally soft feel. There are no aggressive guitar solos or manic synthesiser runs, the album being based on symphonic influences as much as it is in rock.

There are no tracks which stand apart from the others here, with the possible exception of "The balance" which is commercial enough to have been a potential single. The album really demands to be heard as a whole though, something most listeners should be able to accomplish easily given the albums meagre running time.

A fine album of majestic beauty which should have served to introduce Le Orme to a much wider international audience than it succeeded in doing. Recommended for those who enjoy both symphonic prog and neo-prog.

Easy Livin | 4/5 |

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