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Le Orme - Amico Di Ieri CD (album) cover


Le Orme


Rock Progressivo Italiano

2.90 | 41 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars After making a splash with their comeback album "Il Fiume" and wowing the fans at Progfest '97, the reformed and suddenly revitalized LE ORME went back to the studio to record what could almost be called a tribute album to the band's own back catalogue. Eleven songs from their halcyon days were dusted off in all-new performances, putting a bright digital spit-shine on some now musty but still classic Italian Symphonic Rock, circa 1971 to 1976.

The pristine clarity of the new production is a joy to hear, but stubborn fans accustomed to the analog warmth of the original LPs may find it at times a little too sterile. That big, digital drum sound tends to overwhelm the lighter frequencies, for example in the stately "Una Docezza Nuove" (off the popular 1972 album "Uomo di Pezza") and the otherwise delicate title track (from "Smogmagica", 1975), which suffers considerable distress from the inappropriate arena-rock arrangement.

The good news elsewhere is that the gentle accordion and acoustic guitar charms of "Gioco di Bimba" and "Immensa Distesa" (again from "Uomo di Pezza" and "Smogmagica", respectively) not only survive unscathed but actually improve on the originals, revealing a wider scope of instrumental color and spatial depth. And the aptly-titled "India" (from the 1974 album "Contrapunti") finds a rich sitar and synth groove to plow for several atmospheric minutes.

But it's the early rockers off the proto-Prog 1971 "Collage" album that benefit most from the digital facelift. "Squardo Verso il Cielo" kicks off the new album with considerable punch, and the exhilarating "Cemento Armato", maybe the highlight of the whole retrospective exercise, comes to life in a thrilling piano solo by newcomer Francesco Sartori. These are songs that were always meant to be played loud, and the updated production revives them like a shot of undiluted adrenalin.

Two final observations...

The only studio album from the period not represented here is the sci-fi story of "Felona e Serona", and for good reason: an excerpt might have sounded odd if taken out of context from the original narrative.

And a decade after this collection was released it was superseded by an expanded, two-CD compilation, adding an entire disc revisiting the late-60s pre-Progressive roots of the band (see: "The Collection", 2008). But for anyone interested only in their classic Prog Rock highlights, this single CD would be well worth a search: it's a gift to older fans who kept the faith and a boon to newcomers looking for a modernized introduction to one of Italy's favorite acts.

Neu!mann | 3/5 |


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