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I Leoni - La Foresta CD (album) cover


I Leoni


Rock Progressivo Italiano

3.22 | 23 ratings

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Rock Progressivo Italiano!
3 stars Nice prog-inflected pop, early in the RPI timeline

"La Foresta" is a nice album from 1971, fairly early in the RPI evolution from beat bands to full-fledged progressive. When put into historical context, this album sounds even better. The artwork is very good and indicates some of the inclinations of the album?taking something familiar and putting an interesting spin on it.

As John (Sinkadotentree) indicates in his review, the album (ten songs, about 35 minutes) is about half composed of ballads, which are pleasant enough. There aren't any bad songs, but some are definitely more interesting and adventurous than others. My favorites are "Jena Ridens," "Le Scimmie," "Lo Stregone," and "Le Giraffe." "Jena Ridens" is darker and more sinister than the others. The drums are great, with some nice varied rhythms. Piano and organ excel on this song as well. "Le Scimmie" has a great groove with drums and bass (really strong rhythm section on this album) and also features wonderful flute playing. "Lo Stregone" is quite interesting, with some tribal drums underlying a church organ and plainchant type vocal. Over all of these are spoken words, which unfortunately I can't understand?I'm sure it would only add to the wonderful effect! "Le Giraffe" also features a great groove, almost funky?the bass line is especially interesting, which is a bit more angular than expected. Once the fuzzed electric piano comes in raining down jazzy dissonances, the effect is superb.

All in all this is a fine example of early RPI, recorded at a time when the music was transitioning from beat bands to the fully developed RPI we know and love. To put this album into context, this predates the releases by PFM and Banco and was released at about the same time as the debuts of Delirium, Osanna, and Il Rovescio della Medaglia. This album is also contemporary with Le Orme's "Collage," their first post-beat attempt and a nice precursor of things to come, but not fully developed. "La Foresta" is a nice album, with some great, lots of good, and just a few forgettable moments. Three stars for content, plus a half star added because of the release year (rounded down for the site).

Todd | 3/5 |


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