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Osanna - Landscape Of Life CD (album) cover




Rock Progressivo Italiano

3.52 | 90 ratings

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4 stars Osanna's fourth album, "Landscape Of Life", was released in 1974 and is the last album recorded by the original line up featuring Lino Vairetti (vocals, guitar, keyboards), Danilo Rustici (guitars), Elio D'Anna (sax, flute), Lello Brandi (bass) and Massimo Guarino (drums, percussion) although during the recording sessions they were helped by Corrado Rustici, Danilo's younger brother and Cervello's guitarist, and by percussionist Enzo Vallicelli. At the time there were contrasts inside the band about the musical directions to follow and as soon as "Landscape For A Land" was released, Osanna disbanded: Danilo Rustici and Elio D'Anna joined forces with drummer Enzo Vallicelli and went to England forming a new band called Uno, while Lino Vairetti and Massimo Guarino reformed their old band called Cittą Frontale with new musicians. In some way the music and lyrics capture the spirit of doubt and incertitude hanging over the recording sessions...

The long, complex opener "Il castello dell'Es" (The castle of Es) begins softly, then turns into a wild jazzy finale expressing doubts and fears about life and future and a strong need for freedom, freedom to love, freedom to dream, freedom to live and to believe in God... "I am fire / I am Time / I am water / Perhaps I am nothing...".

Next come the title track, an acoustic ballad featuring English lyrics and a nice flute work... "The long road before me / Lie ragged watchin' my body die / Feel like dying / My mind is overcrowded with fat thoughts...". Well, I think that this could be a wonderful track but the vocals and lyrics do not match the beautiful music. Well, this album was conceived for the foreign markets but in my opinion Osanna seem not at ease when they sing in English and I prefer by far here the two tracks sung in Italian.

The following "Two Boys" is a hard rock track with English vocals and a strange flute and sax work and in my opinion it's not completely convincing. The lyrics are about diversity and tell of two twins who painted their faces to differentiate one from each other. One of them painted his face in green, the other in yellow and as time passed by the colour of their skin changed too... "Two boys, they lived in the garden of the world / One day they were playing...".

The long, complex "Fog In My Mind" begins with just organ and English vocals in "Motown style", then the rhythm rises and turns first into "hard jazz-rock", then into samba with a great percussion work and finally back into hard rock... "I hate my hands / I hate my voice / I hate everything / That has created / Fog in my mind...". The following "Promised Land", features Corrado Rustici on vocals and guitar and is a short, weak acoustic ballad with English lyrics describing the hope for a happier world where children can grow up in peace and everyone can sing. In my opinion this is the weakest moment of the album.

Then comes "Fiume" (River), a wonderful, dreamy ballad with vocals in Italian and a great flute work... "Cathedrals of rocks / Horizons of lights and sounds / A landscape of white snow / Spaces without limits, smell of grass / Colours of hope: joy...". The music melts in the instrumental conclusive track "Somehow, Somewhere, Sometime", featuring a guitar sound that reminds me a little bit of Carlos Santana.

Well, on the whole I think that "Landscape of Life", though not at the same level of Osanna's previous album "Palepoli", is a good work and could be an excellent addition to any Italian prog collection. Not only is it worth listening to but it features a remarkable art work as well. The album cover was painted by Massimo Guarino and the inner gatefold drawing by Lino Vairetti.

andrea | 4/5 |


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