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Jumbo - DNA CD (album) cover




Rock Progressivo Italiano

3.89 | 139 ratings

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5 stars Jumbo were formed in Milan on the initiative of multi-instrumentalist and singer-songwriter Alvaro Fella (vocals, guitar, sax, keyboards, percussion) who in 1971 gathered around him a line up featuring Daniele Bianchini (electric guitar), Sergio Conte (keyboards), Dario Guidotti (flute, harmonica, acoustic guitar, percussion), Vito Balzano (drums, percussion) and Aldo Gargano (bass, guitar). After a good but not impressive eponymous debut album, in 1972 they released the excellent "DNA", a concept album featuring strong criticism against society, where they managed to shape an original sound blending acoustic ballads with hard rock and progressive. Alvaro Fella's committed lyrics and his peculiar theatrical way of singing provided and additional touch of colour to their music and the result is amazing.

The opener "Suite per il sig. K" is a long and complex track in three parts. The first one, "Sta accadendo qualcosa dentro me" (Something is happening inside me) begins softly. Piano, acoustic guitar and flute set a quiet and dark atmosphere, then heavy electric guitar riffs announce an impending change, a turmoil that is going to shake the ordinary life of a common man... "I was given the voice and I can't scream / I was given the thought and I can't think anymore / I've got something inside me that is killing me day after day / It makes me sick as soon as I look around / Something is happening inside me... Someone taught me that a good man goes to paradise / But he was wrong / He taught me to keep on going forward as well, blowing with my elbows / But there are so many obstacles... Something is happening inside me!". Nothing matters but making money and struggling to climb up the social ladder... And one day you feel sick and fed up! After a distorted electric guitar passage rhythm calm down and acoustic guitar and harmonica lead to a bitter atmosphere of regret and to the second part, "Ed ora corri..." (And now you have to run). A whole life wasted away on duty, running after glory and power, no time to think to love or to suffering people... "You, who used to look always straight foreword / You didn't see them and they were so many / They used to stop to pray / You didn't see them, you were so busy / You didn't care of good and evil / You were too busy climbing the stairs...". Rhythm takes off, time is running out... "And now you have to run / You are freezing... You were blind and now you don't know / How to close your eyes, how to prey...". The final part "Dio ..." (God is) is a solemn crescendo leading to a new awareness... "I spent whole nights seeking for a reason / But finally I've understood... God is the love I feel for my woman / God is the love I feel for people / God is the love that you give to others without anything in exchange...".

"Miss Rand" is an ironic track about the need for help. "Someone shouts:- A house is burning! / She's been calling for half an hour but nobody comes... Miss Rand's house is burning... Miss Rand burned along with her house...". Perhaps it's not by chance that the name of the burning woman is Rand... Amy Rand (1905 ? 1982) was a novelist and philosopher who promoted a movement called "objectivism" claiming that every man must exist for his own sake and that the pursuit of his own rational self-interest and his own happiness is the highest moral purpose of his life...

"E' brutto sentirsi vecchi" (It's awful feeling old) is a bitter sweet acoustic ballad against "objectivism". The pace is slow and the mood is blue... "It's awful feeling old / When you are so young / Feeling the need to sit down, to lay on the ground doing nothing but sleeping... It's awful feeling the need to cry / When you are so young... You can't trust your better friend / You do not dare to think of your future... It's awful thinking only to food / When you are so young / Thinking to no one but yourself / Ignoring what there's around you... It's awful thinking to die / When you are so young...".

Last track "Ho visto..." (I've seen) features a long and complex intro featuring jazz touches and a swirling flute, then organ introduces to apocalyptic visions... Burning stars, a threatening sea, volcanic eruptions and snakes spitting venom... "You've seen the dogs tearing apart your children / You've seen the water carrying away your mother... You have seen the light shouting doom / You've seen... Then nothing".

andrea | 5/5 |


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