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Cittą Frontale - El Tor  CD (album) cover


Cittą Frontale


Rock Progressivo Italiano

3.12 | 48 ratings

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3 stars Citta Frontale were important in the evolution of RPI giants Osanna as main members Lino Vairetti and Massimo Guarino vacillated between the two bands during the first half of the 1970s. Citta Frontale's sole album ''El Tor'' was released in 1975 during an Osanna hiatus; apparently it's a socio-politically inspired concept album about an individual who sets out on a journey to rid the world of oppression, only to become corrupted by power himself. Like the fantastical traveller in the story, the album goes to a lot of interesting places but overall it sounds a bit anaemic in comparison to Osanna's work.

There's little of Osanna's inspiration or complexity in evidence here and most of the eight tracks follow fairly traditional structures. There are some shared characteristics like the reliance on saxophone and flute, and the mix of Mediterranean folk and jazz, but generally with an altogether lighter touch. The saxophone on the multi-part ''Duro Lavoro'' reveals something of a Zappa influence and this vibe is reinforced on the following track ''Mutazione''. Enzo Avitabile's sax-playing is also at the forefront of the uptempo ''Solo Uniti'', the closing section of which has shades of ''21st Century Schizoid Man''.

The balance of the album is mostly lightweight folk and pop, such as the dreamy, lilting opener ''Alba Di Una Citta'' and the West Coast-inflected ''Milioni Di Persone'' complete with harmonica and catchy melody. The title-track could easily pass for an Italian version of a Cat Stevens song although there's a hint of Ian McDonald-inspired flute towards the end. Overall then, ''El Tor'' is by no means a bad album but these guys don't take any risks here and it's all just a little safe and predictable. It's probably of interest mainly because of the Osanna connection, although it should appeal to fans of light symphonic music.

seventhsojourn | 3/5 |


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