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Alan Sorrenti - Aria CD (album) cover

ARIA

Alan Sorrenti

 

Rock Progressivo Italiano

3.91 | 106 ratings

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octopus-4
Special Collaborator
RIO/Avant/Zeuhl,Neo & Post/Math Teams
4 stars Listening to the debut of Alan Sorrenti I can't tink to the rubbish stuff that he released just few years after. It's clear, in the early 70s in Italy an artist couldn't literally survive without at least a hit single, and there's nothing even remotely similar to a hit single in the 4 tracks of this first release.

The side long title track is something that I don't think the Italian market has seen before. The italian prog was already selling, thanks to PFM, Banco, Orme and their likes, but Aria, based on vocal experiments and acoustic instruments, with the addition of Jean Luc Ponty's violin, was completely out of the schemes. Alan's voice is naturally high-piched, and this may be the reason why he years later tried to clone the Bee Gees. He's experimental, but not a reasercher like the other big voice of the Italian 70s, Demetrio Stratos was. The song's melody changes seveal times, the passages are never trivial, sometimes even too unusual, so when sometimes gets back to more familiar armonies, it seems more melodic than what it really is. An important role is played by Ponty's violin, which is present in this track oly, but also the work made on percussion by Tony ESPOSITO (NAPOLI CENTRALE) is remarkable.

"Vorrei Incontrarti" (I wish to meet you) is a more "regular" song. Melodic but not too different in style from the title track. Still mainly acoustic with less vocal exercises. It fades out and the voice is replaced by a final whistle. An original final.

"La Mia Mente" (My mind) is more experimental. Maybe because of the subject. Not only the vocals, the whole arrangement is unusual. I have the impression to hear also an unreferenced Theremin, but it's the synth harp that makes a weird job.

The closer is opened by a cello solo. "Un Fiume Tranquillo" (A Quiet River) has strange lyrics. Following them is not very easy even for an Italian. Not only because of his kind of singing, but also because the attention is captured by the whole. An excellent work is performed by the Trumpet, then the track goes in crescendo, not as quiet as the river of the title. Instrumental interludes driven by the trumpet bring it back to the initial theme.

It's a pity that after a so interesting debut Alan Sorrenti attempted an "easy career". He had a big hit in the late 70s, while trying to be a Bee Gees clone, and in Italy is still remembered for that song only. After that he has been almost completely forgotten. Sometimes he appears on TV, always singing "Figli delle Stelle" and nothing else.

Recently he has released a 5 CD boxset entitled "The Prog Years", but I don't think he had enough prog material to fill 5 CDs unless there's something previously unreleased.

A 2 stars career, but this is a 4 stars album. Just give it a listen before buying, you may not lke the vocal style.

octopus-4 | 4/5 |

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