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Le Orme - Contrappunti CD (album) cover


Le Orme


Rock Progressivo Italiano

3.96 | 234 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
5 stars This is a complex and "engaged" album and probably you will find difficult to appreciate it from the first listening. Actually I begun to completely enjoy "Contrappunti" only after having listened to some of its songs during the live performances of the band, especially "La fabbricante d'angeli", "India" and "Maggio". Contrappunti means counterpoints, contrasts... This is a kind of a concept album about contrasts.

The title track is an amazing opener. It is a complex instrumental piece, built upon the dialog between piano and keyboards, corroborated by an astounding drums and bass work. Classical inspiration that melts into progressive rock and vice-versa.

"Frutto acerbo" (Unripe fruit) is a melancholic acoustic ballad with inspired lyrics where the unripe fruit of the title is the heart of a child suffering because his first love feelings.

"Aliante" is a short instrumental with a catchy melody leaded by the keyboards. It sounds a little bit "light" if compared with the other instrumental tracks of this album, but it's quite good anyway.

"India", introduced by the peculiar voice of Aldo Tagliapietra, is a suggestive and dark track about the charms of the culture of the Asiatic subcontinent. "What wisdom comes out resounding from the sitar?". Souvenirs of a journey in India, the newspapers announcing that India owned the atomic bomb while many of his children were starving. Lyrics and music were inspired by the contrasts of this country regarded as a "mystical woman". By the way, the interest for the Indian culture has always been strong for Aldo Tagliapietra so, in the nineties, he learned to play the sitar, an instrument that gives now an exotic touch to Le Orme's performances, especially when they play this song.

"La fabbricante d'angeli" (The maker of angels) is my favourite track on this album. A romantic instrumental intro with a great drum work lead to the singing. "From the deepest darkness of the night / Two empty eyes slip from the stars / The maker of angels is already gone down / But she stumbles in her rusted tools.": lyrics are about abortion, a very difficult subject to deal with, especially in the Italy of the early seventies. Le Orme were able to do it in a very poetical way, without saying if abortion is right or wrong. Just a way to let you think about. I find this song delicate and aggressive in the meantime.

The classical inspired "Notturno" is an instrumental track where, in my opinion, the contrast between piano and keyboards gives a mood of gloomy tension, so that it could be included in the soundtrack of a thriller.

"Maggio" (May) has always been one of the band live favourites and I remember Aldo Tagliapietra introducing this piece telling that it had been inspired by the Italian political situation: in that time the PCI, the Italian Communist Party, in the early seventies one of the strongest Communist Parties in Western Europe, was facing the DC, the Democratic Christian Party bound to the Catholic Church. In Italy the seventies are also called "gli anni di piombo = the years of lead" because that was a time of slaughters and terrorism. That was also the time of the political compromise. May is the month of the labour day and the month dedicated to the Virgin Mary. Lyrics here try to draw images of these contrasts, like that of a priest listening, behind the door of his church, to the voices of the labour feast raising from the square. "L'uomo č il primo ed il pių grande fra i tesori della terra = The man is the first and the most important among the earth's treasures": this sentence was pronounced by the pope and by a representative of the Chinese Communist Party more or less in the same period and seem to be put in the lyrics just to suggest that there could have been some common points between the Communist Party and the Catholic Church. The music of this dilated and complex track sometimes seem to underline deliberately the strength of lyrics with the sound of the bells, with a great keyboards work and a powerful rhythmic section.

Definitely an essential album in any prog collection!

andrea | 5/5 |


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