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Angelo Branduardi - La pulce d'acqua CD (album) cover


Angelo Branduardi


Rock Progressivo Italiano

3.83 | 24 ratings

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4 stars Parting the curtain behind the big 3 or so progressive ensembles to come out of Italy in the 1970s, one of course discovers a myriad of other agglomerations of varying longevity. But minimal research unveils solo performers who achieved considerable popular recognition in their day, at least in their homeland if not throughout Europe. At the risk of unfairly applying a broad brush, these artists would be in the crossover prog of RPI, even if most of their fans can't spell prog. I certainly don't profess to know more than a few, with FRANCO BATTIATO first coming to mind; admittedly his earlier work was more avant garde before he tasted mass success in the 1980s. Following close behind is ANGELO BRANDUARDI, who is blessed with a better singing voice and comes across as Italy's answer to CHRISTY MOORE (a contemporary), with a folky, generally gentle and string heavy quality that grows and grows in my estimation. Top notch melodies that are both simple and challenging may have something to do with this.

While the album is generally placid, there are some uptempo tracks, with the 7 minute opener being the most impressive of these, replete with a bagpipe fashioned segment alternating with a decidedly Celtic melody in the verse. It brings to mind Quebecois music of that era, such as LE REVE DU DIABLE, and also venerable Brits the ALBION BAND and even the Breton ensemble TRI YANN, but this is a lot more measured and subtle. Both "Il poeta di corte" and the title cut are lively ditties that graft stereotypical Italian music onto Branduardi's own branches, and evoke STEFANO TESTA's most impressive one-off. "La Sposa Rubata" and "Il Poeta di Corte" are slower pieces that might have a less patient listener hitting the next button, but they are worth the effort. Even the closing piece with its by then decade-old psychedelic flourishes is enhanced by his own poignant violin, other strings and a traditional styled tune.

Quality and profound caring are graciously offered on this 1970s release that is recommended to fans of classy soft folk rock and/or RPI aficionados.

kenethlevine | 4/5 |


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