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Franco Battiato - L'Era Del Cinghiale Bianco CD (album) cover


Franco Battiato


Rock Progressivo Italiano

3.42 | 44 ratings

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RIO/Avant/Zeuhl,Neo & Post/Math Teams
3 stars Death and resurrection: after the most minimalistic and challenging album of his career Battiato closes himself in a chrysalis and what comes out is a pop star. The music is pop with appealing melodies, a touch of krautrock in the arrangements which feature the excellent violinist Giusto Pio. Battiato's voice sounds very appropriate and the lyrics are hermetic so to add an "alien" element to the pop environment. Is it prog? I'm not sure, but there are prog elements in the compositions, specially in the title track. A mention to the lineup which includes a great guitarist (ex Formula 3) Alberto Radius and the percussionist Tullio de Piscopo (Napoli Centrale).

However what is really surprising is the sudden transformation of an artist that later will change again. This album represents the starting of a very remunerative success in his career.

The title track is still one of his most famous songs for the mainstream listeners, while "Magic Shop" is a song that I had totally forgotten. I'm relistening to this album after years and this country-flavored song based on three majir chords like a sort of Knocking on Heaven's Door with hermetic lyrics is almost forgettable.

"Strade Dell'Est" is interesting but the mood is more of the 70s disco. It's a nice listening anyway, with a bit of funky on which Battiato's voice sounds unusual. Not prog but I like it. It reminds me to bands like "Napoli Centrale".

"Luna Indiana" is opened by a piano playing a classical harping. This is one of the most "contaminated" songs, something good for Giusto Pio's violin. A sort of neo-classical suite in romantic style.

"Il Re Del Mondo" (The King of the World) is exactly the kind of music that Battiato will produce since now fro years on. A bit of electronic mixed with classical end ethnics with lyrics that are mainly descriptions of sequences of images. The keyboard's sounds used here are similar to those used by Vangelis in the same period. A good song, the most progressive of the album.

"Pasqua Etiope" (Ethiopian Easter) is opened by harp and double bass then goes into the Krautrock or even Canterbury territories with a trumpet (a keyboard?) adding a jazzy touch and lyrics in Latin.

"Stranizza D'Amuri" is the highlight of this album. It's written in Sicilian dialect (almost incomprehensible even for an Italian) and even if catchy and easy it's enriched by Giusto Pio's violin and Battiato's voice is perfect in this contamination of electronics and folk.

As I have written at the beginning, Battiato just one year after his most challenging album comes back completely transformed. Actually he was still playing some of his old things live: Fetus and Pollution, mainly but this good album is the point of no return.

octopus-4 | 3/5 |


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