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La Coscienza Di Zeno - SensitivitÓ CD (album) cover

SENSITIVIT└

La Coscienza Di Zeno

 

Rock Progressivo Italiano

3.91 | 190 ratings

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BrufordFreak
4 stars This is a young Italian group with a great, powerful sound--as good as anything that came out of RPI in the 70s. And what a voice in singer Alessio Calandriello! Though there is a ton of 70's-like RPI power here, my review's references are, unfortunately, more weighted to the more familiar world of English symphonic rock.

1. "La citta di dite" (6:46) has some great sounds and dynamics but is a bit inconsistent, confusing and, ultimately, wayward in its meanderings. (8/10)

2. "Sensitivita" (12:22) the instrumental jam beginning at 3:20 is an awesome whole-band production--though the synths/keys are pretty outstanding. At 5:15 things calm down significantly giving Alessio space for some sensitive and powerful singing. At 6:21 we are treated to a brief bass- and electric guitar-led section. The mellotron-acccompanied vocal section beginning at 7:30 is quite powerful--with drummer Andrea Orlando really shining from here on out. The instrumental build-to-crescendo in the ninth minute is awesome! Very GENESIS-like, though the classical piano chord hits in the background remind me of RENAISSANCE's John Tout. Very strong song, well organized and never meandering or lacking for power and emotion. Definitely one to go back to over and over. (10/10)

3. "Tenue" (3:31) shows the band turning its piano-jazz bar side out for viewing. Slowed down and almost jazzy, this one uses a lot of unusual treatments/effects on the vocal, drums, guitar, and other instruments which, unfortunately, seems to give it a feel as if it is aimlessly searching for its sound groove. (7/10)

4. "Chiusa 1915" (7:04) begins with some wonderful keyboard, piano, and electric guitar weaves until suddenly, at 1:15, it all stops to become a sparse piano-accompanied vocal (great vocal and melody lines!) As the rest of the band gradually rejoin all is right again?a very nice song to accompany Alessio's amazing voice. Nice soli intermittently interjected from electric guitar and synthesizer. Very And Then There Were Three--familiar at the 3:30 mark. Like the bass-line and other unexpected changes from 4:10. Kind of SYLVAN-like. 4:50 back to the "The Lady Lies" sound again. Very catchy melodies and chord progressions throughout--a very mature neo-prog song creation in the vein of NINE STONES CLOSE, KNIGHT AREA or MYSTERY. (9/10)

5. "Tensegrita" (7:18) begins a bit cheesy-bombastically with electric guitar over electric piano and rhythm section. Odd carnival-like instrument at 1:00. This song is personality challenged--kind of like a I AND THOU creation?syrupy and over-melodic with almost too- cliched hooks and melodies. Again, Tony Banks' influence from c. 1978-9 is incredibly strong here. Ultimately, this one fails to deliver because it fails to bring itself together in a cohesive, sensible fashion--though it certainly seems to be trying! (7/10)

6. "Pauvre misere" (7:49) once again begins with some over-the-top neo sounds and structures. What was once a lovely, refreshing ride is beginning to get old and feeling a bit forced. It is only when Alessio's voice is allowed to take center stage that all is right. Odd shift in style and sound at 2:20. Are they trying to go jazz, eclectic or avant-gard? It does tighten up a bit for a while before another shift showcases Alessio the Crooner--later to turn to Alessio the Broadway singer. Strings at 5:30 usher in a nice instrumental section with some clever time and key changes and interesting though subtle instrumental soli--to fade! (8/10)

7. "La temperanza" (10:38) begins with some acoustic instruments weaving in an almost neo-classical fashion. The YUGEN/AltrOck influence shows on this one. Great harmonies of multiple melody lines. At 3:11 Alessio and the band take on a kind of "Get 'em Out by Friday" mantle. At 5:02 things turn a little dirtier--SYLVAN-like! Very cool! At 6:15 sparse background electric guitar arpeggios (à la GENESIS c. 1971) opens up a quite lovely section. Definitely my favorite song on the album. (10/10)

I don't know how well the band worked on the various songs on this album but there are several, like the title song and the last song, that just feel like they are much more well worked out, more complex, and much more mature. This band, this album, are definitely a very positive find for me. Considering they are considered a "young" band, I will look forward to following their growth and development throughout their career(s).

A 3.5 star album (for inconsistencies) that I'll rate up for its high points--which are among the highest of 2013, so far.

BrufordFreak | 4/5 |

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