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Espíritu - Libre Y Natural CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.87 | 59 ratings

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Cesar Inca
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Espíritu's second album 'Libre y Natural' sounds more aggressive than its predecessor, while maintaining the same melodic sensibility; the lyrics themselves reveal a pessimistic view of society and humankind (as opposed to the more high spirited, introspective disposition in the lyrics of 'Crisálida'). Just like 'Crisálida', 'Libre y Natural' is a concept-album consisting of a continuing sequence of eight tracks. The original keyboardsman Gustavo Fedel had been replaced by Ciro Fogliatta, who now introduces a harder edge to the organ and synthesizer sounds. Besides, Osvaldo Favrot takes his guitar playing into the jazz-fusion realm, and so does the rhythm section. All these elements fused together resulted in a very somber album, which combines the usual colors of symphonic prog and typical touches of South American acoustic sensibility with the dark intensity of (e.g.) Mahavishnu Orchestra, Relayer-era Yes, and Red-era KC. The organ intro that kicks off the album is short enough as to let the listener know the sense of urgency, soon led by the inputs of guitar, bass and drum kit. The soft nature of track 2 and the sung parts of track 3 are only instances of momentary introspectiveness before the predominant edgy feel takes over. The hardest edges of this album are contained in tracks 4 and 7, and the second half of track 6, cleverly culminated in the closing number; it is particularly a pity that the closing jam of track 4 doesn't expand a bit longer in order to create some appropriate climax for the stuff that's being carried on, but it is a minor objection. On the other hand, track 5 retains pretty much of the acoustic flavour of the debut album, with a candid spirit and some beautiful lines on acoustic piano while the rhythm acoustic guitar and the sung parts display the basic harmonies. The fact that track 5 is basically an acoustic reprise of track 4's sung section makes it proper to continue with the album's overall concept. In my opinion, since this is a more varied recording, accentuating the dramatic contrasts in mood and tempo, 'Libre y Natural' is an improvement compared to their debut album (which is also excellent, no doubt about it!). All in all, it is just a matter of preferences in colours: depending on if you're more attracted to the explosive chiaroscuro of this record or the rainbow-like emotionalism of 'Crisálida', you will prefer the first or the second album by this excellent band - my personal option goes to 'Libre y Natural'.
Cesar Inca | 4/5 |


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