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Quella Vecchia Locanda - Il Tempo della Gioia CD (album) cover


Quella Vecchia Locanda


Rock Progressivo Italiano

4.11 | 340 ratings

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James Lee
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars From the first notes of "Villa Doria Pamphili", this album establishes a lovely, low-key organic mood. This song particularly could be the flagship for the subgenre 'symphonic rock', as classical orchestration and rock elements are blended as seamlessly here as I've ever heard. The trend continues, with just a touch more modern character, in the cascading keyboard lines and choral segments of "A Forma Di...". While it falters a bit during the tremulous off-kilter jazz sections of "Il Tempo della Gioia", the disparate influences generally blend into the whole. The repetition of certain lines may start to irritate on "Il Tempo" as well as "Un Giorno, Un Amico"- which however actually rocks for a while; the violin work is outstanding and the piano adopts a more contemporary character. The infrequent electric guitars occasionally bring Howe's raw, direct guitar tone to mind. "E Accaduto Una Notte" starts with a lovely quiet classical/ traditional mood and deftly injects heavier rock and jazz elements piece by piece, occasionally sounding like KING CRIMSON.

Sometimes things seem just a bit incomplete; "A Forma Di..." seems as if it was faded out too soon, and "E Accaduto" sacrifices an organic climax for a strange sustained chord that ends with a bang. Both times it is most likely a compositional choice rather than any lack of songcraft, but I do rather like closure. The dynamics may actually be too wide (I've rarely made that complaint) in that some of the quiet parts are almost inaudible compared to when the band is playing hardest- this may point to production details rather than any quality of the band itself. The vocals aren't as high quality as BANCO or ALUSA FALLAX, but still emote well (especially in "Villa" and "Un Giorno"), and the choral segments (even if some of them may have been done with a Mellotron) are natural and otherworldly at the same time.

Strangely enough, as the album progresses, it gets more 'progressive' and yet loses a bit of the brilliance that is demonstrated on the first track, which on its own deserves an unreserved 5 stars. "A Forma Di" drops the score to 4 for the aimless ending, "Il Tempo Della Gioia" and "Un Giorno" let me down a little during the more modern- sounding passages, and "E Accaduto" wavers between inspiring and merely solid. So as an album, definitely wonderful and well worth hearing but overall not completely the masterpiece that it could have been.

James Lee | 3/5 |


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