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Osanna - L'Uomo CD (album) cover




Rock Progressivo Italiano

3.65 | 148 ratings

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2 stars While I realize 1971 was not exactly a watershed year for Italian Progressive rock music, the debut album from Osanna did not capitalize on the success of colleagues Le Orme and New Trolls, both of whom released outstanding albums that year. L'Uomo is not terrible by any stretch of the imagination, but is only recommended for Osanna fans and RPI collectors. There are some good ideas here, but much of it is far too derivative and hokey to truly enjoy. However, from a historical standpoint it does at least deserve a review as one of the first psych/beat albums to come out of Italy that really started to incorporate more interesting ideas. Most of these ideas would not be fully realized until their third album, Palepoli.

The album starts off with some trippy synth effects set against acoustic guitar, as an almost space-rock vibe in "Introduzione" quickly gives way to a bluesy rock showcase. The Jethro Tull comparisons will start here, and L'Uomo never moves out of that shadow. The title track shows a lot of promise, but is simply far too short! Just when it starts to get interesting, someone had the awful idea to transition right into "Mirror Train," a cheesy blues/jazz hybrid sung in broken English. Danilo Rustici starts to assert himself here; quite a competent guitar player that knows all his licks and scales, but has neither the creativity or fluidity his brother Corrado would later display in Cervello (and in a limited capacity on the Osanna album Landscape of Life). "Non Sei Visuto Mai" is a meandering mess that recycles the beginning of "Introduzione."

The Hendrix influence is clear in "Vado Verso Una Meta"; "In un Vecchio Cieco" is far more original, and I think the saving grace of L'Uomo. Here we finally get to hear the band Osanna and their true potential, but again the song never gets off the ground and collapses into a noise-freak-fest that would make Frank Zappa smile. The remainder of the second side is largely forgettable, failing to leave any lasting impression, but is not so bad that I wouldn't say it's just acceptable. Osanna missed the mark on their debut but luckily, unlike many of their contemporaries, would last long enough to grow and develop.

coasterzombie | 2/5 |


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