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Il Volo - Essere O Non Essere ? CD (album) cover


Il Volo


Rock Progressivo Italiano

3.90 | 152 ratings

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4 stars On this their second album, Essere O Non Essere? (1975), Italian band Il Volo deftly broadened their musical horizons. The jazz-fusion hinted at on their debut of the previous year was given its head on this release. It was obvious from their debut that Il Volo were all technically accomplished musicians, but by the time they recorded this album they were clearly more comfortable in the studio and the end result is more polished. Arrangements are better and tracks are more experimental. The generally laid-back pop feel of the first album has been replaced by mainly instrumental smooth-edged fusion. Vocals are mostly restricted to wordless vocalisations, and in fact only one song contains actual words. Drummer Gianni Dall'Aglio invigorates the rhythm section with the injection of some Latin-inspired percussion. Il Volo continues to rely heavily on dense keyboard textures, but here the various keys really stand out with some great leads. All these elements come together on the stunning opener GENTE IN AMORE, with its pulsating rhythm, silky guitar and lush multi-layered keyboards. Clavinet features prominently throughout the album, as do some intriguing popcorn-type synth effects.

MEDIO ORIENTE 249000 TUTTO COMPRESO has something of an Arabic flavour with its synth-sax intro, scat vocals and surging groove. This segues seamlessly with CANTO DI LAVORO, and its wailing vocals, percussion and electric sitar prolong the Eastern vibe to good effect. ESSERE is the only track with lyrics and it begins as a romantic-sounding ballad but finishes in fiery mood. ALCUNE SCENE is arguably Il Volo's most diverse and interesting piece with its many shifts of atmosphere, from impressionistic sounds to funk jams to dramatic crescendos. A strong Santana influence permeates SVEGLIANDOMI CON TE ALLE 6 DEL MATTINO, although the more experimental CANTI E SUONI, with its waspish synthesizer and strange treated vocalisations, also displays a Latin influence. Overall, Essere O Non Essere? represents a superb balance of experimentation and immediacy. 4 stars, easily.

seventhsojourn | 4/5 |


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