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Luciano Laurini - Uno Come Tanti Altri CD (album) cover


Luciano Laurini


Rock Progressivo Italiano

3.42 | 5 ratings

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Rock Progressivo Italiano Team
4 stars With an overabundance of Italian Christian folk artists in the early 70's, it's not surprising to find that some of them would create music that fans of progressive rock, and in particular the Rock Progressivo Italiano (RPI) genre, would appreciate. Luciano Laurini's `Uno Come Tanti Altri' (One As Many Others) is one such work, a deeply spiritual, inventive and moving musical statement, originally envisioned as a musical on the life of Jesus, yet was uncompleted. The piece was then reworked into the music presented on this LP, available in two alternate covers.

Do not approach this album expecting a total RPI or progressive rock workout. Make no mistake - this is a folk album, and is predominantly acoustic guitar based. But worked into the album is essentially a Christian concept theme, with constant musical reprises, repeated melodies and overlapping musical patterns with plenty of typical Italian progressive elements.

A founding member of Xian folk/pop group Gen Rosso, Luarini has an incredibly charismatic, warm and lyrical voice, and his placid acoustic guitar playing is truly sublime. He also compiled a superb group of musicians to assist with the album. Giuliano Guerrini's bass frequently stands out nice and prominent throughout, and Ciro Cicco's percussion is played with perfect restraint. Luciano Ciccaglioni's energetic acoustic playing brings that lovely Italian progressive flavour, and while his electric guitar is only used sporadically, it draws a lot of attention on some heavier and moody moments on the second side.

The title track opens the album with a reflective passage played on gentle flute and acoustic guitar behind Luciano's warm lead vocal. This short piece will be reprised constantly throughout the album in a further five sections, often with further slight variations/additions and alternate lyrics. It helps give the album a roundness and cohesive feel that brings the progressive elements together.

`Ti Chiameremo Ges¨' is a heartfelt folk ballad with lovely thick upfront bass and a childlike chorus choir that takes on a very blissful and dreamy quality. Lucaino's vocals have a stunning poetic quality to them on `Nazareth Dormi Ancora', with a haunting melody and very warm choral vocals in the chorus between subtle electric guitar solos, gentle percussion and low-key synths. Listen to how seamlessly the male/female choral vocals blend with church organ on `Nella Vecchia Sinagoga', creating a very droning tone before an upbeat and joyous surprisingly Magma-like chorus! Wild and fiery acoustic guitar and Luciano's urgent passionate vocals punch through `Gebel Qarantal', full of frequent tempo changes and reckless playing. These elements in addition to the complex bass runs, drifting flute and eerie synth soloing will really appeal to a lot of RPI fans here. `Cena Di Galilea' has frantic acoustic guitar, humming synths and a sprightly energetic chorus.

Side 2 opens with the poppy and upbeat `Solo A Chi ╚ Bambino' and a repeated children's chorus throughout that is brimming with spiritual joy and positivity! Then out of nowhere comes the ragged and fiery RPI explosion `La Tua Rivoluzione' - maddening ethnic percussion, dreamy harpsichord, daring male vocals, thrashing acoustic guitar and ghostly synths. Somehow this wonderful piece even finds time to dip into the beat-pop sound of Italian bands past just before the chorus a couple of times! `Hosanna' is a further reprise of earlier track `Ti Chiameremo Ges¨' with even more rising energy and a real sense of community and togetherness. `Tredici Del Nisam' is a lovely piece of contrasting emotions, tense and dramatic in the verses, soothing and heartfelt in the chorus. I love how it builds in drama with the punchy bass, quickening acoustic guitar and floating clouds of low- key synths.

There's another fascinating RPI moment on `Dall'Ora Sesta', with furious acoustic strumming over distorted electric guitar atmospherics, shadowy narration and intimidating percussion before we're rescued by a choir of uplifting angels. `Con Quei Fiori In Mano' constantly builds with serious and reflective urgency, with the most fragile of female choirs gently breaking through over Luciani's soulful vocal. The way Giuliano holds back on the bass, the restrained acoustic guitar from Luciani and the glistening synth outro really impresses on this classy piece. The album wraps on the wild and joyous gospel outburst of `Alleluja' with galloping racing bass and grand piano.

I hope that just because the album is heavily folk based some listeners won't dismiss it outright. There's really many interesting little ideas, playing and arrangements going on here, and tracks like `Gebel Qarantal', `La Tua Rivoluzione' and `Con Quei Fiori In Mano' would be appreciated on any RPI album. Some listeners may find that perhaps the 6 part title track may have been even more effective if it had merely opened and closed the album, that the segments of it spliced around the album are a little intrusive and break things up a bit too much, but I think it works just fine.

Fellow RPI collaborator Jim (Finnforest) learned that Luciano himself admits that he was not actually listening to any Italian prog artists of the time such as PFM, Le Orme, Battiato and Balletto di Bronzo, so considering this has numerous RPI elements, is it a wild coincidence, or was the album itself truly progressive and quite ahead of it's time? You'll have to be the judge for yourself, but I've totally fallen in love with it. Luciano Laurini's `Uno Come Tanti Altri' is a deeply moving, faith reaffirming and inventive Xian album that is well worth rediscovering and placing with confidence along endless other RPI albums.

Four stars.

Aussie-Byrd-Brother | 4/5 |


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