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Lapera - L'Acqua Purificatrice CD (album) cover

L'ACQUA PURIFICATRICE

Lapera

 

Rock Progressivo Italiano

3.04 | 6 ratings

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Aussie-Byrd-Brother
Special Collaborator
Rock Progressivo Italiano Team
3 stars So, THAT cover. Let's get it out of the way right from the start! Oh, very well, take another sniggering look to get it out of your system, then take a breath and actually get past what you're seeing and commit to listening to the music! Italian duo Lapera's sole album release from 1975, `L'Acqua Purificatrice', is actually much more engaging than the dorky cover suggests, and in some ways is a lovely gem of the vintage Seventies era of inventive Italian pop music originating from that country. A collection of melodic song-writing that covers soft pop, soothing ballads and even brief bursts of funk, the material has constant symphonic orchestration that gives the material an ambitious and sophisticated quality, and although hardly a progressive rock or RPI masterwork, there is plenty of worthwhile traits found throughout the entire album for patient and more forgiving listeners. Think of those most gentle of progressive-related Italian albums like Gianni D'errico's `Antico Teatro da Camera' where pop/ballad song-writing is given warm-hearted instrumental spirit, a more daring version of the orchestral style of the New Trolls and a more inviting, less schizophrenic take on the grandness of Pholus Dactylus' `Concerto delle Menti'!

Rolling thunder and raindrop ambience patter overs the stirring orchestration and melancholic piano of instrumental album opener `Il Mattino del Giorno Dopo'. The two part title track, with brief upbeat funk interlude 'Commento' in between, boasts everything from powerful brass instrument bursts, slinking bass, brief Mellotron wisps and joyous lead vocals from the two brothers alongside a female chorus, while a gorgeous acoustic break with narration almost sounds like a Bond theme! It leads straight into the impossibly sweeping instrumental `Presentimento' that glides in the heavens, `Transizione' is an enjoyable vocal and guitar pop/rocker with cheerful spacey Moog soloing, and the smooth `La Bottega dei Desideri', with light-of-touch electric piano and a group female vocal, closes the first side, going out on an extended gently grooving instrumental finale.

The second side opens with `Supplica della Vita All'uomo', a dreamy mix of orchestration, acoustic guitar, flute, hand percussion, male/female group voices and narration. `Catarsi' is lightly jazzy, the mellow `Tentativo D'evasione' is almost playful in a Beatles-esque manner, and bluesy electric guitar, boisterous scat vocals and murmuring bass simmers through `Crepuscolo (Tace)'. `Il Mattino del Giorno Dopo' is spirited and up-tempo, but best of all is essentially the album closer. `Omaggio al Sole' is a powerful and dramatic instrumental with wailing electric guitars, thick rumbling bass, darker symphonic orchestration and an urgent chorus vocal that really hints at the dynamic potential the group had, and it's the closest the album comes to full-blown progressive rock. What an ending!

Italian label BTF has given Lapera's album a charming mini-LP reissue in 2015, meaning this forgotten Italian obscurity can be easily obtained at a decent price, so no need to fruitlessly search for highly desirable, absurdly expensive and virtually non-existent vinyl copies anymore. Does that mean `L'Acqua Purificatrice' should become an instant must-buy release for RPI followers? Probably not, as there are dozens of more important Italian prog releases that deserve attention first. But those with large RPI collections may like to add this interesting and frequently dynamic album to their library, and this one definitely has its admirers - in a short essay housed in the CD booklet, modern Italian prog notable Fabio Zuffanti of La Maschera di Cera and Hostsonaten rates the album amongst his personal favourite Seventies Italian releases. Go easy on Lapera's `L'Acqua Purificatrice', a literal case of `Don't judge a book by its cover', and you just may be won over by the pleasing, refined and often surprisingly exciting charms you discover.

Three stars.

Aussie-Byrd-Brother | 3/5 |

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