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Franco Battiato - Caffé De La Paix CD (album) cover


Franco Battiato


Rock Progressivo Italiano

3.33 | 15 ratings

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RIO/Avant/Zeuhl,Neo & Post/Math Teams
3 stars After the excellent , maybe a bit pretentious Gilgamesh, Battiato makes a half step back to the 80s.

This "Cafe' De La Paix" is a return to the 35 minutes albums of electro-pop songs with cryptic lyrics, but some of the goodies of the last albums are infecting the pop. The orchestral arrangements are a mixture of classical and Arabic ethnic music which results, if you ignore the vocals, in that hypnotic soundscape for which I have often defined Battiato's music as Krautrock. With the vocals and the electronics the artsy pop becomes more relevant as they are the principal elements of his 80s output.

What I have written about the album applies completely to the title track on which I'm probably the only one who sees a musical relationship with a totally different Italian non- prog artist: Giorgio Gaber. Music only, not lyrics.

"Fogh In Nakhal" Is in Arabic. God knows what it means. It's an ethnic song. I don't know if it's a traditional or not. It's a good folk song on which the strings are still full of the mixtrue of classical and Arabian.

"Atlantide" (Atlantis) is about the lost continent. Zeus, Ades and Poseidon fight one against the other. It's a very interesting song, apart of the lyrics inspired to Plato, the music is based on just two chords but with the addition of noises, accents and soprano screams on lyrics without metrics. The Floydian guitar makes me think to the Eloy's Ocean masterpiece.

"Sui Giardini Della Preesistenza" is a strange title. It means "About the Gardens of the pre- being". And is a sort of religious hymn about the paradise lost with an orchestral opening which later develops in a radio-friendly melodic song. I think it's Lucifer regretting for the times before the rebellion and the fall. Interesting subject.

"Delenda Carthago" is musically similar to the previous song, quite a follow-up. It's a famous Latin sentence attributed to Cato which means "Cartagena has to be destroyed". Also this song has a middle eastern mood and a hypnotic progression. Part of the lyrics, the choral parts in particular, are in Latin. A very good song.

"Ricerca sul Terzo" (Research about the Third) is totally cryptic. Like a sort of Sufi dance featuring Indian instruments, it proceeds hypnotically with no percussion until the tablas are in. I think the third is the third Eye of the Indian tradition. Krautraga...A song that George Harrison would have surely liked.

"Lode all'Indiavolato" (Praise to the Demoniacal) Proceeds on the line started with Atlantide. Three repetitive chords and lyrics like "Paganini knew well that the Devil is sneaky and plays violin".

"Haiku" starts with a major chord and few piano (or harp) notes. When he starts singing the string orchestra accompanies him. It's a minimalist song very melodic. Who knows the early Battiato knows that this is his true music. The female vocalist sings apparently in Arabic (but the title should say that's Japanese). It's the good closure of this album.

The good of it is the continuity. It's not a concept album but the songs are very connected one to each other and if we look at the more pop oriented production of this artist, this one even far from the goodness of Gilgamesh is a very good one. Still non-essential, but very good.

octopus-4 | 3/5 |


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