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Franco Battiato - Pollution CD (album) cover

POLLUTION

Franco Battiato

 

Rock Progressivo Italiano

3.65 | 84 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

siLLy puPPy
4 stars Before FRANCO BATTIATO ventured off into minimalism and eventually new wave pop to become one Italy's top performers, he released a couple experimental progressive rock albums for his first two releases. FRANCO BATTIATO's second release (as simply BATTIATO) pretty much follows in the footsteps of his unique style as heard on the debut "Fetus" except that this one lies more in the electronic world and a clue as to where he would take his music, that meaning that the compositional layout of catchy hooks is still present with abrupt changes in genre styles, tempos, timbres all within the confines of keeping a strong melody going, although there are a lot more synthesizers on this one along with the bass, guitar and drums. BATTIATO and three other band members also contribute to a barrage of sound effects on the VCS 3 Synthesizer which leaves a very rich sounding album filled with all the cutting edge technicalities of the day including Rick Wakeman inspired synthesizer workouts.

Starting out what sounds like period piece classical musical from a previous century, it sounds as if we've visited a ball in the 17th century with Mozart as the headliner but after an explosion signals a change over it quickly becomes a jittery guitar riff followed by a haunting organ run that builds up to heavier rock. Once again an explosion changes over to a VCS 3 Synthesizer run that wouldn't sound too far off on an 80s new wave album although this one is kept within a classical music context. By the time the album gets to "Beta," it slows down with a groovy Floydian bass line along with a crafty piano run and freaky background vocals that create a seven minute plus space rock track but ends with a reprise to the classical ball music as the album begins.

POLLUTION is anything but dirty! It is a really pleasant experience to let unfold around you as one addictive track cedes to the next. There are lovely arpeggiated guitar sections such as on "Plancton" that add atmospheric keyboards and once the purely Italian vocals enter the scene sounds much more like the Italian kings of the scene such as PFM or Banco reminding from whence they emerged in the world. Again replete with daring keyboard solos kept within the context of the melody but creating synthesized polyrhythms that complement each other beautifully. The title track has a rather Krautock type intro with UFO type flying sound pulsating from synthesizers while waves crash against some unseen shores while echoey guitar strums gently stroll in as the synthesizer sounds short circuit out. What a way cool intro! It becomes a nice folky guitar piece as the vocalists all begin to sing to the heavens!

This is one of those albums that has all its ducks lined up in the right rows. It has just enough melody to reel you in and keep you hooked but so many surprises and unexpected twists and turns that it's impossible to lose your attention. While firmly placed in the Italian scene during the vocal parts, the beauty of POLLUTION is how pan-continental it sounds during the instrumental parts as BATTIATO takes all the magic of bands like Pink Floyd, Roxy Music, Yes and even Ash Ra Temple and Tangerine Dream and puts it all on the work table for a new sort of musical beast making. Just as good as the debut in a totally different way and somewhat points in the direction of the next album "Sulle Corde Di Aires" that really took the plunge and went completely in the progressive electronic arenas.

siLLy puPPy | 4/5 |

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