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La Bottega dell'Arte - La Bottega Dell'Arte CD (album) cover


La Bottega dell'Arte


Rock Progressivo Italiano

3.47 | 29 ratings

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4 stars Beautiful Ital-pop, light prog album

I'm so happy that the infamous Proglucky added this band to the archives long ago, a group that might otherwise not been approved. And I'm grateful to Psarros for writing a review of their previous prog single that caught my eye and made me finally stop and check out this band. While some trash this album because it isn't "progressive enough" I think they are missing the point. These guys weren't out to make Palepoli or Darwin, they are an Ital-pop group with a light symphonic prog touch. If you adjust your expectations and if you enjoy the warmth and melody of the 70s Italian pop, you will not want to miss this album, it's a beauty.

In the mid 70s the Calabrese brothers teamed up with three long time buddies to record several album Lise describes very well in our bio as "characterized by luscious memorable melodies, impressive vocal harmonies and plenty of swirling keyboards that give their material a rich, full-bodied symphonic sound." What makes the band special is their enthusiasm and their penchant for that "rich" sound. They have all the usual elements of quality Italian pop/light prog, the sentimental romantic melodies, the great vocals, a variety of keyboards and piano, but the elements are displayed with pomp by a rock band with enthusiasm. Listen to the baroque feel of "Camelot", it's an incredible track and most fully "prog". Great arrangements of keys and flute with regal sounding runs. " Un' Esistenza" is another beautiful song, it just shimmers with glossy symph overtones, some cool synth effects, understated guitar, and heart! "A Cynthia" is another good track that rocks with quirky abandon, almost psych-pop in spots with a whimsical feel as the band falls away to a music box like section. Great drumming and vocals here with a biting guitar solo. "Mare Nostrum" closes with a wistful, dreamy and refined instrumental track that feels like staring at the sea.

This is such a quality effort and so enjoyable for me that I can't give it less than four stars. If you love the beautiful and melodic side of RPI, and can embrace a more songs-based pop-prog mix, be sure to sample "Camelot" and a few others on YT. If you can't find a copy of the album, you can download it from Itunes. Later albums reportedly get very clearly 80s pop but I consider this one a must for my RPI collection.

Finnforest | 4/5 |


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