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Osanna - L'Uomo CD (album) cover




Rock Progressivo Italiano

3.65 | 137 ratings

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Rock Progressivo Italiano Team
4 stars The debut album `L'uomo' from 1971 by RPI band Osanna makes for a fascinating time capsule of both Italian rock and the slowly developing progressive styles from that era. Although somewhat basic and more than a little dated now, truthfully it offers a fascinating blend of established 60's sounds with the emerging potential of the 70's. Osanna attack a wide variety of styles and genres with a thrilling energy and recklessness, presenting an unpredictable, colourful collection of genres and moods. Many tracks may start as a ballad, then divert into boisterous hard rock or wild instrumental outbursts at a moments notice! Everything from acid rock, hard R & B, blues, jazz, psychedelic rock, folk and classical blur together to make for an addictive listen.

The album may only be 37 minutes long, but you'll be overwhelmed with variety. Fragments of contemplative, spacey keyboard effects, soft and romantic acoustic guitar passages, unhinged electric guitars and driving hard rock seamlessly flow together. Especially satisfying is an aggressive use of flute and saxophone (as well as harmonica) that would become trademarks of the Italian progressive bands to come, deeply passionate, confident and lusty vocals as well as some occasional classical sophistication too.

`Non Sei Vissuto Mai' features some addictive snarling electric guitar, the grooving funk rocker `Vado Verso...' will get your hips shaking in no time, and `In Un Vecchio' could lift you away to the clouds with it's blissful dreamy harmonies. The band definitely seemed to have an international audience in mind too, with tracks like the powerhouse `Mirror Train', the howling `Everybody's Gonna See You Die' and grinding Jimi Hendrix-like `Lady Power' all utilizing English vocals and having a more straight-forward rock sound.

My first exposure to the band was their fourth album `Landscape of Life', and although being somewhat indifferent to that one overall, I was more impressed here and wish I had started with the debut all along. OK, so there's still that somewhat confusing lack of proper cohesion or direction, and the band seem to want to tick as many boxes and cover all bases as possible. I also find their baffling decision to use both English and Italian vocals confusing, and I really wish it would be one or the other (by that, I mean just Italian!). But there's no denying the talent and ambition on display here, and listeners who enjoy adventurous 60's flavoured rock and want to hear the early development of Italian progressive music should love this work.

`L'uomo' is now reissued with the follow-up album soundtrack album `Milano Calibro 9' on a single budget priced CD, so there's never been a better time to pick up a copy!

Three and a half stars.

Aussie-Byrd-Brother | 4/5 |


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