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Delirium - Dolce Acqua CD (album) cover




Rock Progressivo Italiano

3.82 | 112 ratings

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5 stars Oh what a special album this is to me.. most likely surpassed in quality perhaps by Delirium III but still one of my favorite albums from the RPI movement. One with a great deal of personal attachment due to a very special person in my life. One of early classics of Italian prog released before the great wave of PFM, Banco, and a great wave of others came in 1972. Delirium was formed in 1970 from the ashes of the beat group Sagitari. They first made an impression on the musical scene at the first avant-guarde festival of Viareggio in 1971. Later that year they recorded their first album, Dolce Acqua which became one the big 4 Italian rock albums of the year. Along with The New Trolls Concerto Grosso, Le Orme's Collage, and Osanna's L'Uomo. On a seperate note it is interesting to note the wide musical differences between those albums but that is for another time. Unfortunately as a quick check of the Italian album charts for that year will show. Dolce Acqua was the only one of those albums not to crack the top 10. In fact.. Dolce Acqua less commercially less successful than Osibisa in Italy hahha. However ask those.. like Raffaella that DID hear the album as a beautiful young lady and what they thought of it. It was a album that stuck to you and made an immediate impression. Commercial success for Delirium would come a year later and that would come with significant changes for the group but that is for later reviews.

Dolce Acqua is typical RPI faire in it's wonderfully eclectic mix of the Italian symphonic tradition with jazz, folk and catchy pop melodies. The star of this album is Ivano Fossati whose....rather distinctive voice is really the thing that sets this album apart. Fossati in addition to his VERY distinctive voice was a very competent flute player and was given a great deal of space on this album. As such.. with any prog group it seems that has the flute in the forefront, that has often lent to frequent Jethro Tull comparisons. Personally I don't see that at all. The flute is common of course.. actually listening to the album and the influences simmering and then served up on the album should take care of that misconception about similarity to Tull. Tull especially at this time was rooted in Blues and English Folk.. find that on this album and I'll give you my copy of the album for free.

The album kicks off with Preludio (Paura) with Fossati's airy flute giving way to a vocal given and take with Fossati and Di Martino. A soft sensual opening track that sets up up for the next song the incredible Movimeto I (Egoismo) which explodes with Fossati's manic flute playing with an upbeat and danceable tempo. I dare you to listen to this song with out being to keep your body still. The piano solo on this is one of favorite moments on the album.. a sprited jazzy excursion that is so full of life and passion you really have to be cold not to feel the music deep within you and let it take hold of you. Movimento II follows with a delicate flute melody with nice classical flourishes especially as the song closes. A nice sedate counterpoint to the frantic and upbeat tone of Movimento I. The long winded 'To Satchmo, Bird and Other Unforgettable Friends (Dolore)' follows a nice piano intro with a journey into a jazz anchored by Fossati's flute and pianist Ettore Vigo. Not a particularly original piece of music perhaps.. but it simply sounds good and again provides dynamic contrasts between the other styles Delirium was putting into the pot on this album. Sequenza I e II follows next and is one of my favorites on this with another melody that just grabs you and won't let go. A nice bouncy melody carried by the acoustic guitar and piano which Fossati dances over joined by the group singing wordlessly with the melody. Johnnie Sayre (Il perdono) is a vocal showcase for Fossati in the first half of the song before the acoustic guitar kicks in and takes us down a folk path with drums panning across the stereo speaker with chatting voices in the background before returning to the comforting sound of Fossati's voice to bring things to a conclusion. Favola o storia del Lago di Kriss (LibertÓ) has again Fossati's voice.. almost descending to warbling but never quite reaching that threshold. A rather plain folkish song that really didn't have any highlights to me other than the nice string interludes. Weakest on the album. Dolce acqua (Speranza) follows with a great and memorable flute melody a warm inviting piece of music with wonderful piano and string sections. I can best describe it as very classy and refined. An elegant piece of music I guess you would say. Very touching. The album closes with the song that would later break the group apart I guess you could say.. Jesahel which would be released later in 1972 as a single and bring the group the fame that escaped them with this album. Not much to the song for me... Jesahel being being a chorus of sorts that is repeated throughout the song. Pretty much a pop song. Again... foretelling the end of Fossati's time in Delirium.

For the album. Hard one to rank. Personally as much I adore Fossati and his voice.. Delirium would hit their apex with Delirium III and was simply a better album than this one. However Italian prog. .and prog in general is filled with great albums that simply are not 'essential' listens. Lord knows I have reviewed more than a few. Conversely you will have albums that are not letter perfect that ARE essential. This album is one of them. Want to understand in an early album what the phenomenon of Rock Progressivo Italiano is ..and why it is unique among the branches of prog. This album is one of the early example of what why it was. I mentioned 3 other albums earlier that came out in the same year. The derivative tag can be fairly.. maybe not accurately.. but with some justification be put on each of those 3 early albums. This one though.. the potent mix of Italian symphonic, jazz, folk, and pop music was what would foretell the real heights of Italian prog in the 70's. As creators of their own sound.. not merely English imitators. For the site 5 stars. For myself .. as I noted. I think Delirium III is a better album even without Fossati but that doesn't mean I don't take great pleasure from this album and some of the moments on this album are simply magic. 4 stars for me. Dedicated to that very special woman in my life. I can just picture you listening to this back in those incredible days.

Michael (aka Micky)

micky | 5/5 |


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