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Mosaico - Vola CD (album) cover




Rock Progressivo Italiano

4.02 | 8 ratings

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Rock Progressivo Italiano Team
4 stars Combining a strong mix of canzone d'autore (singer-songwriter) tradition with lush vintage RPI qualities, Italian band Mosaico deliver their debut album fourteen years after forming back in 2000. Driven by Enrico Nesi's charismatic voice delivering beautifully poetic words and an ocean of dreamy vintage keyboards that will make many listeners recall Italian symphonic proggers Murple, `Vola' is one of the most special recent Italian progressive albums. Everything from folk, gothic, classical and Mediterranean touches are woven through so many seamless direction changes, yet this album always remains focused and melodic, and a prominent use of accordion adds a lavish sophistication to the results.

With Nicola Cambri's glistening electric piano, whirring Moog, enticing hand-percussion, seductively murmuring thick bass and Enrico's melancholic croon, the opening title track races through tempo changes back and forth with energetic purpose. The more brisk moments of P.F.M-like bursts bristle with danger, while some rollicking guitar passages come across like a more controlled Biglietto per L'Inferno. `Il Bivio' is driven by gothic church organ prances and very mellow, dreamy Moog runs, `Il Critico, Il Profano, I'Artista' is a melancholic folk ballad where Nicola's accordion weaves between gentle acoustic guitar and delicate Mellotron veils, and the frantic `Il Nuovo Potere' pirouettes through an exhausting variety of dizzying instrumental displays fuelled by Alessandro Capanni's snappy drumming, snarling bass and spirited guitar behind Enrico's rapid-fire vocal deliveries.

`Questa Sunta Umanitá' is a Mediterranean flavoured folk ballad with acoustic guitar, joyous accordion and Simone Batignani's tabla-like percussion that still manages a sprightly energy, and some foot-tapping darker grooves infiltrate `Materia e Vita' through devilish organ runs and Fabrizio Biscontri's wilder guitar outbursts for a touch more gothic malevolence. `Lenti Passi' is a warm accessible tune with a stirring male/female chorus over Cristian Dima's purring slinking bass, and there's even the lightest of sly reggae flavours to the verses! Album closer `Sopravvivere' will prove a little more divisive, a jaunty and bouncier little funky jazz/pop finale, Aldo Milani's sultry but dirty wafting sax playing with a Gong-like darker mischief.

While some of `Vola's more swooning moments will appeal to lovers of Locanda delle Fate's debut album due to the similar romantic vocals and uplifting, magical instrumental qualities, there's a welcome hint of Biglietto per L'Inferno-like danger permeating many of the compositions. Yet despite the couple of influences mentioned here, and plenty of characteristics that align the band with classic vintage Italian prog, the band don't sound like any other RPI band and have their own unique personality. The balance between singer-songwriter passages and rich instrumental elegance from this group of talented musicians means `Vola' is one of the most strikingly exotic and exceptionally confident modern RPI releases, and it also sets an impossibly high standard for a debut album than many other Italian progressive groups should take note of!

Four stars - well done Mosaico!

Aussie-Byrd-Brother | 4/5 |


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