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Mauro Pelosi - Al Mercato Degli Uomini Piccoli CD (album) cover


Mauro Pelosi


Rock Progressivo Italiano

3.25 | 24 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

2 stars I'd never heard of singer-songwriter Mauro Pelosi until the release of UMG's Progressive Italia Gli Anni '70 Vol. 1 in 2009. Really Italian Pop with some Prog tendencies, Al Mercato Degli Uomini Piccoli is a marginal inclusion and of somewhat peculiar interest to RPI collectors. Although there are some nice moments here and there, Pelosi's second album is only for completists, or fans of symphonic pop along the lines of Riccardo Cocciante or Lucio Battisti. And I would definitely NOT recommend Al Mercato Degli Uomini Piccoli to anyone with lingering emotional problems, depressive bouts or relationship issues - the songs, both musically and lyrically, are melancholy to a fault and nearly all in a minor key. Sometimes this approach works, as in the case of Quella Vecchia Locanda's second album, but here it falls flat and leaves the listener exhausted. Even though Pelosi's debut is more proggy, Al Mercato Degli Uomini Piccoli is the better of the two if you're in the mood for it.

The title track begins innocently enough, before erupting into a wash of mournful strings, and eventually ending on a high note. "Al Mercato Degli Uomini Piccoli" deals with themes of worthlessness and unattainable romance, a constant throughout the album. "Un Mattino" may contain the most heart-wrenching description of clinical depression I've ever heard: "Cerchi nel buio e in fondo ti piace, di ricordare per farti piu male" ("You seek in the darkness and in the end, you like to remember to hurt yourself more). Clearly not for the faint of heart, the album does save face with the enjoyable "Ehi! Signore," probably the best track. Pelosi sounds more like Alvaro Fella of Jumbo here, and leaves the tortured artist routine aside long enough to spin a yarn of everyday life. Musically, "Ehi! Signore" has a lot going on and is one of the more prog-inspired songs on the album. The string accompaniment on "Non Tornano Piu" is also very tasteful and not overdone as in the first two tracks. Here Pelosi sings about his school sweetheart and how nothing in life will ever compare, so why bother trying? I appreciate Pelosi's vulnerability, but the poetic devices used and lyrical choices made are juvenile and easily dissected (even by someone who does not speak Italian fluently).

"Con Te" features some nice acoustic guitar courtesy of Pelosi, and is an upgrade in the vocal department as well. The strain and anguish in his voice has been replaced with a pure, almost child-like quality that is much preferred. "Ti Portero' Via" is interesting in that it sounds astoundingly similar to "Like Spinning Plates" by Radiohead; I don't know if the latter was inspired by or intended to emulate Pelosi or if it is merely a coincidence, but the connection is definitely there. "No, Io Scherzo" is a sweet, lightheaded affair with a little Mellotron at the end. The finale "Mi Piacerebbe Diventar Vecchio Inieme A Te" or "I'd Like To Grow Old Next To You," is a tale of unrequited love, told in the most pathetic way Pelosi could possibly muster, and puts and end to this dreadful and morose album. Perhaps some more uplifting moments could have balanced out Al Mercato Degli Uomini Piccoli and elevated it to three stars, but as it stands I cannot recommend it on its own. As a set however, Progressive Italia Gli Anni '70 Vol. 1 is an excellent value.

coasterzombie | 2/5 |


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