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Tracklist: 1. Visioni 5:33 2. Il Pentimento di Dio 4:40 3. Tuttle le mie stelle 4:18 4. L'Infinito 3:28 5. Un cieco 4:38 6. La Giostra 4:52 7. Strananoia 4:00 8. Amore Bianco 4:38 9. Morte di Un Amore 15:24 All music & lyrics by N. Randone, except: 4 - music by Randone, Cascone; Tumina, Spata; & 9 - music by Randone & Bulbo. Arranged & engineered by E. Bulbo. Produced by N. Randode. Line-up: Nicola Randone - vocals; guitars Giovanni Bulbo - keyboards Riccardo Cascone - bass Enrico Boncoraglio - drums & percussion
Prologue. "Morte di un amore" is the debut album by the Italian singer and composer Nicola Randone. I am sure that most (if not all) of my brothers and sisters in a 'progressive' pen, - at least those who reside not in Italy (like me, Vitaly-who's-not-from-Italy), - haven't heard of him before.
The Album. I thought it was already impossible to create something really new within the framework of a theatrically dramatic kind of Symphonic Progressive pioneered by Genesis - however, Nicola Randone's debut album, "Morte di un amore", represents, IMHO, nothing else but a truly new manifestation of that genre. (The die-hard fans of early Genesis and any sorts of the classic Genesis sound may stop reading this review, - Randone's music is by no means your cup of tea.) This music is truly unique, so it cannot be compared to anything existing under a 'sun' of Symphonic Progressive. Symphonic Art-Rock, presented on "Morte di un amore", is for the most part lushly and very effectively orchestrated. When I was listening to the album, I often had the impression that the quartet plays along with a real string orchestra. There are not many of the orchestral arrangements on Strananoia (track 7), though only two songs on the album, Il Pentimento di Dio and La Giostra (2 & 6), are completely free of them. Various interplay between solos of synthesizers, electric and bass guitars, and rhythms of acoustic guitar are evident throughout the album (as well as the drumming, of course). However, they're really dominant only on those three songs that I was just talking about. Nevertheless, the wonderful passages of piano featured on Strananoia (and Amore Bianco as well, 7 & 8) and the excellent accordion solo that is present on La Giostra (6) make them sounding almost as rich as all the orchestrated songs. With the exception of Il Pentimento di Dio and Tuttle le mie stelle (2 & 3), both of which sound optimistic from the first to the last note, the brilliant vocals of Nicola Randone are either diverse in moods and emotions (like in the opera) or purely dramatic throughout the album. Although all the songs on the album are based on the vocals (lyrics are in Italian), each of them is definitely progressive and contains at least a couple of the purely instrumental arrangements. Incidentally, the instrumental arrangements are always intensive on this album regardless whether Nicola sings at the moment or not. The first four tracks on "Morte di un amore" (especially 2 & 3) are, however, more accessible than the others. To be precise, they're instantly accessible, unlike all five of the songs that are bunched up on the second half of the album. I find such an arrangement of the songs not only justified, but also wise, - especially if to take into account that the hero of this review is Nicola's debut album. Most of those who are used to value any albums by the contents of the first two or three songs on them (i.e. straight in a store) should be enough charmed with "Morte di un amore" to purchase it immediately. (It doesn't much matter that they'll most likely be very disappointed with the album as a whole. Often, such people are quite happy 'having' on a disc at least a couple of songs they like.) Which would be useful for Randone's further creation. It's not only because of all five of the remaining songs on the album, among which the 15-minute title track is more than a mere prog killer, are real masterpieces. Also, in the presence of a proper promotion and distribution, "Morte di un amore" may become an album that can really help Progressive to get back the mainstream status, at least partly.
Summary. I really wonder why this album was released (self-released) by Nicola Randone himself, and not by one of the major Prog labels. "Morte di un amore" comes highly recommended to all the open-minded Prog music lovers, without exceptions.
VM. July 24, 2002
Nicola Randone's web-site:
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