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Paolo Siani ft. Nuova Idea - Castles, Wings, Stories & Dreams CD (album) cover


Paolo Siani ft. Nuova Idea


Rock Progressivo Italiano

4.00 | 26 ratings

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4 stars Paolo Siani and Nuova Idea return in fine form

Paolo Siani was the original drummer of the classic RPI band Nuova Idea from Genova. In the later 70s he would play with both Equipe 84 and Opus Avantra, the latter being one of my very favorite RPI bands and a must-listen. In 2010 Siani released his first solo album, an ambitious concept album called "Castles, wings, stories & dreams". The music and lyrics were composed solely by Siani and he produced the album as well. He also expanded from drums and vocals to share keyboard and guitar duties on the album. He is joined by an army of friends including Belloni, Giorgio Usai, and Marco Zoccheddu of Nuova Idea, Mauro Pagani, Joe Vescovi (ex-TRIP), and many others. The album was released by Genova's own Black Widow Records.

"Castles" is a dynamic mix of RPI with a "heavy prog" edge that is sure to please a wide swath of the PA community. It follows the trend of recent returns by RPI veterans in delivering high quality material in the more accessible package that today's prog fan seems interested in. Italy's comeback albums are better than most as the musicians always seem to be into it for the right reasons and that is again the case here-the work exudes a passion for music with an uncompromising respect for the past, held above commercial considerations. Musically this project compares pretty well with the RRR comeback album, as well as modern bands like Il Bacio Della Medusa and Altare Thotemico. The album serves up several flavors and degrees of heaviness with a generally melodic and rocking feel. It places electric guitar on an even or greater presence than the keyboards, many tracks seem to be born of a heavy, grooving riff. When these riffs meet the Hammond organ the Heavy Prog feel is complete, but there are also sections which feature jazz-fusion and another with a Celtic music flavor. The main players are very good, the guitars and vocals are top notch. There are many of the usual RPI flavorings sprinkled throughout, like female operatic vocals, flute, strings, piano, sound effects, and dramatic flare. The flute over acoustic guitar brings a beautiful pastoral vibe to the closing track. But much of the album lives in an energetic prog-rock vein.

It doesn't quite match the thrills of "Clowns" for me, but then again rarely do today's albums thrill in the same way as the early 70s groundbreakers. Today's works are often far more "professional" and linear, but lack that spark of real craziness and unpredictability that makes us RPI purists shake it, much to the amusement of our family members. Yet this remains a very solid new slice of RPI that will bring a big smile to many of you. I strongly suggest taking the plunge on this one. A bit under 4 stars but close enough. Siani has proven himself a musician to be watched once again and we'll hope for an encore.

Finnforest | 4/5 |


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