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Greenwall - Zappa Zippa Zuppa Zeppa! CD (album) cover

ZAPPA ZIPPA ZUPPA ZEPPA!

Greenwall

 

Rock Progressivo Italiano

3.79 | 15 ratings

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octopus-4
Special Collaborator
RIO/Avant/Zeuhl,Neo & Post/Math Teams
4 stars Is she Antonella RUGGIERO? Asked my wife. I think it's acompliment as the mentioned singer is one of the best Italian vocalists in the pop world. But that wasn't pop. Imagine a keyboard driven band with an excellent high-pitched female vocalist and complex but catchy melodies, even when the signature is odd. Well, I'm not speaking of the Dutch KAYAK. The first thing I've heard of GREENWALL, years ago, was "Come Corpo Morto Cade": the fifth chant of Dante's Inferno, in a monster compilation. It has remained their only song I heard for a long time. Zippa Zappa Zuppa Zeppa means nothing. It's. I think, about the sound of the words, but the album has a lot of things inside, instead. Every track is different from the others, mixing classical influences, jazzy tracks, Floydian passages, references to CAMEL, plus poetry and sometimes funny, sometimes dramatic lyrics. So please sit down and relax. I'm going to write a track by track review, and I'm afraid it will be quite long. The first track, "Superpezzi" is a joke: an "a capella" choir on which the band shows to have classical training whose lyrics say only "I'm broken into superpieces and it is only Monday". I've quite preserved the metrics in the translation? So after this funny track what to expect? A catchy love song with some poetry, a symphonic mood in the chorus and an excellent arrangement, what else? "Con Precisione Eterna E Divina" (With eternal and divine precision) is the kind of track that can play continuously in your mind hours after you have listened to it. Michela BOTTI shows her talent and reminds to the Inferno's song in a passage of the chorus. "Palla Di Legno" (Wooden Ball) is the description of a sensation: a winter Sunday morning. It took me some time to catch this song because I liked the previous too much, but after giving it the right attention, I've heard it playing in my mind as well. Now it's time for another funny thing: "Ma Le Mele No" (Not the apples!) is Eve in the Eden telling the famous story from her point of view. The song is funny and it has a commercial potential, I think. But the very funny thing is God's voice at the end. Instead of a thundering "deus irae" he has the voice of a stereotyped business manager from Milan, played by Emanuele COLOMBO. It's not a mistery that the band likes Pink Floyd. "La Culla" (The Cradle) is a smooth instrumental of the "Wright- Gilmour" kind. Released before "The Endless River" it could have found a place on that album. It's a great track positioned in the right place: between the apples and "E' Solo Dopo Che C'e' La Luce" (The Light Is Only Beyond). The album contains a booklet with the lyrics translated into English, but I must say that I'm not following the original translation. The first minute is a spoken poetry followed by a short instrumental part. It's a bridge to "Non C'e' Mai Tempo Per Niente" (There's never enough time for anything). Another instrumental, opened by a drums solo on which bass and keyboards create a jazzy piece of the CAMEL kind. Between Moonmadness and Rain Dances, let's say. One of my favorites from the musical point of view, and as we have gone jazzy, the scat version of Superpezzi is exactly this: a pure jazz track. It's fun that the main theme is the Superpezzi thing, but it's nothing else than jazz. Michela is back to singing on the most complex and the longest track of the album, if we don't consider the bonus track. A melodic first part, a dark interlude, then back to melody and coda. I've had to ask Andrea PAVONI, the keyboard and the author about the meaning of the lyrics. I couldn't really understand what they are about and the explanation was a surprise: the song is about the death of his mother but seen from her point of view. I remind the listeners to the booklets (there's also one in Italian of course). It deserves to be read with some attention.

Poetry again: "Un Figlio" (A Son) is a spoken song. A mother about a young son over a Floydian instrumental part. Of course, who can follow the lyrics will have a more complete listening experience, but you can also concentrate to the whole and interpret the words just as part of the arrangement.

"Scene Di Vita Familiare Con La Piccola Jo" (Scenes of family life with the little Jo) is again an instrumental. Melodic and keyboard driven, it has passages which remind to CAMEL but not only. The track features also a guest violin which is perfect in setting the mood. "Due Finestre Una Collina" (Two windows, One hill) is sad and based on minor chords. I think it's the most "Italian" thing of the album. A kind of song that fits perfectly in what is called Rock Progressivo Italiano, and another with some commercial potential in my opinion. Another thing that my wife, not a proghead, said was: "Why aren't they famous?". To be honest, even if I'm not reviewing my wife here, she listens to prog but not as much as me. "L'avventura del Soldatino Bianco" (The adventure of the white small soldier) is initially based on a military march, then the rhythm changes and violins change it. I can't not think to the last tracks of CAMEL's "Nude", but let me add that after this military intro it goes into a jazzy mood, still tied in some way to the CAMEL's style, but a bit more jazz oriented than what the Latimer's band was. The final part returns to the initial theme but in a more symphonic way. Finally, a 16 minutes bonus track. "Il Petalo Del Fiore" (The Flower's Petal) is a suite in four parts in which the band shows almost all its influences. Personally, other than the artists mentioned before, I hear some influences from YES and in particular Rick WAKEMAN and a bit of Mike OLDFIELD and Le ORME. There's also a number of guest musicians and additional instruments: Sax, Flute, Oboe, additional guitars. For a proghead, those 16 minutes are enough to justify the investment. Now few words about the package: other than the two booklets, it comes with an additional DVD featuring also some live material. The sleeve design and the booklets are full of paintings. A final mention for another artist known on PA cited in the notes: Nicola RANDONE. In the last page of the booklet we discover the reason of the eclectism of the album: It has taken 4 years to take its form (2009 to 2013) and the songs have been written during a very large period of time: between 1986 and 2009. Apologies for having been so long. I hope somebody has resisted until the end. If you are still here, thanks for reading.

octopus-4 | 4/5 |

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