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Nostalgia - Is your spirit free? CD (album) cover





3.53 | 7 ratings

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Prog-Folk Team
4 stars While progressive rock is not the chart force it was 30+ years ago, one could argue that it is an even more successful style today than back then, on the basis of the number of artists plying the craft. In this environment, one of the challenges facing a band is that of defining their own sound, which becomes even more daunting when one considers the relatively paucity of common ancestors for the genre. In NOSTALGIA's case, their origins lie in unabashed CAMEL worship, yet they have somehow forged a unique style at the crossroads of the aforementioned veterans, the introspection of DAVID SYLVIAN, and myriad acts in the new age and folk constellations.

Some of their singularity may be due to financial constraints, so that very few drums are used, and half of those are programmed, and Mauro Moroni of Mellow Records produced the album, giving a cavernous and echoey aspect to the whole oeuvre. From a prog perspective, the group seems to have blown its budget on the compelling opening quasi-title suite, which includes the only authentic percussion, flutes, many shifts of mood within an ethereal framework, and some JADE WARRIOR styled languid guitars.

Subsequent tracks offer many beautiful melodies and moments, with plenty of gently yet ponderously strummed acoustic guitars, and occasional simplistic lyrics that sound profound when uttered with Italian accents. "Nothing we can't say, nothing we can't do" epitomizes this aspect of the group, as does "Only between people". The blending of male and female vocals is done in a charmingly amateurish way that somehow works. "Fragments" channels both Andy Latimer and Steve Hackett and shows that the band could go the instrumental route comfortably, even without percussion, while in other tracks the lack of real drums is compensated for by what sounds like luscious fretless bass.

While flaws abound, nostalgia offers a path to acceptance and forgiveness, which I freely embrace in the spirit in which this sweet production was offered. 3.5 stars rounded up.

kenethlevine | 4/5 |


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