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Fabrizio De André - La Buona Novella CD (album) cover


Fabrizio De André


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3.91 | 30 ratings

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RIO/Avant/Zeuhl,Neo & Post/Math Teams
4 stars I have seen that this album has 2 reviews only, so I might be able to add something. This is one of the first Italian concept albums, but the reason why I suggest it to proggers is in the use of gregorian-style choirs and orchestral parts that make it a prog album of a non-prog singer-songwriter. The concept is based on the apocryphal medieval gospels, from the Announcement to Christ's death (no resurrection). When it was released, the Vatican condemned it as anti-catholic, giving this album the same fate of Jethro Tull's Aqualung: banned from Italian radio.

The start is Laudate dominem (latin: Bless God), that's counterbalanced by the final Laudate Hominem (Bless Man), that gives Christ a human nature instead of divine. Both are like gregorian choirs.

The real start is L'infanzia di Maria (Mary's childhood). This Brassens-like song, with a base of classic guitar and the strong baritonal voice of Fabrizio tells what was probably the true story, basing on hystorical knowledges of the rites in 1st century. It's highly dramatic, but it's where the problems start. If you are not Italian speaking, or you don't have a translation of the very poetic lyrics, you are missing the 75% of the album. It's the same for all the other pieces.

The story proceeds and Ave Maria (track 4) is a very religiuosly inspired song, very unusual for an atheistic and anti-catholic writer. The following track Maria nella bottega del falegname is a song about war, murder and death penalty.

The story progresses quickly to the crucifixion, and Il testamento di Tito (Titus' willings), is an invective about the hypocrisy of every church, catholic and not. Each of the Moses' commandements is criticised by a thief while he's dying on the cross. The sound is a bit country-western, but Bob Dylan has been one of the most influent artists for Fabrizio, as well as the French. This angry song finishes with an unexpected positive message.

To be noticed, all the characters tell about the story, but Christ is never speaking and barely mentioned.

From a musical point of view, the songs are very well arranged, and the influence of traditional and medieval music are what in my opinion make it a prog album. Get a translation before giving it a spin.

octopus-4 | 4/5 |


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