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Il Paese dei Balocchi - Il Paese dei Balocchi CD (album) cover


Il Paese dei Balocchi


Rock Progressivo Italiano

3.59 | 98 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
5 stars Il Paese dei Balocchi - st (1972)

Continuing my journey through the Italian symphonic land-scapes I found this album by coincidence. I was on a vinyl convention and I had the option to buy four RPI vinyl reissues for forty euros and I had to pick a fourth one (the others were easy choices). I asked the man who sold the records how this strange looking record sounded and he answered something like: 'it's pretty dark and brooming'. A convincing salesman talk. The cover with it's old clothes patterns is actually really good. The inside of this fold-out sleeve has yet some more artwork.

Now, actually, this music ain't that dark, but it is brooming. Il Paese dei Balocchi plays an introvert form of classical inspired prog that has little relation with the ELP-tradition of key- bashing and bombastic arrangements. And I have to agree with Bonnek here, this really is one of the best fusions of prog and classical music. Subtle, atmospheric and intelligent. It isn't as much the notes or recognizable chord progressions that were taken from the classical genre, but it's dynamic listening experience. It's many low-volume passages, it's full-blown string arrangements (with some of the best Italian vocals I've ever heard) and totally unique approach to music make this one of my favorite Italian records so far. Yet, Il Paese dei Balocchi has some moments of up-tempo and rockin' (but subtle) moments. Along the way we also get some dark moments (with panicking vocals), a moment that sounds as if post-rock was invented by this band and a mysterious church-organ ending section. The recording of the album is very good and suitable for it's kind.

Also mentioned by Bonnek, this album's vibe and atmosphere evoke a link to Pink Floyd's Atom Heart Mother. It's hard to explain, but the introvert progression and the totally out-of-the-box approach are somehow resemblant of the Pink Floyd masterpiece.

Conclusion. Innovation is a key-word for the progressive genre, but uniqueness is king. Creating a piece of music that is both atmospheric and intelligent AND totally original is for me the ultimate achievement. It's like magic. I feel obligated to give the five-star rating for Il Paese dei Balocchi. This is what I'm looking for.

friso | 5/5 |


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