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Banco Del Mutuo Soccorso - Io Sono Nato Libero CD (album) cover


Banco Del Mutuo Soccorso


Rock Progressivo Italiano

4.36 | 967 ratings

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5 stars "Io sono nato libero", the third album of BMS is an extremely complex and engaged work, so it takes time to get in its "musical architecture". There's more room for the guitars than in "BMS" and "Darwin" and the band here seem to be "grown up" developing a very personal style. This is also the first album featuring the guitarist Rodolfo Maltese in the line up (although in the credits he appeared only as a guest musician) and his touch is very important in BMS' "musical alchemy" along with the piano and keyboards work of the brothers Nocenzi and the peculiar vocals of Francesco Di Giacomo.

"So that you will hear me, my words sometimes grow thin as the tracks of the gulls on the beaches. And I watch my words from a long way off, they are more yours than mine." Well, in this album the poetry of the lyrics is "part of the music" and I think that these words of Pablo Neruda (an excerpt from the love poem "Para que tú me oigas") could help to explain what the first song is about: the desperate singing of a "political inmate"... The song breaks through the walls of the jail and starts wandering in exile around the world with seeds of hope while the prisoner can't escape. Actually, "Canto nomade per un prigioniero politico" (Nomadic song for a political prisoner) is a song of love. Love for freedom and social justice! According to an old interview of Vittorio Nocenzi, it was inspired by the "military golpe" in Chile and I think that watching Costa Grava's film "Missing" (with Jack Lemmon) and reading Isabel Allende's novel "The House of the Spirits" and Antonio Skarmeta's novel "Burning Patience" could be very helpful to catch the spirit of this piece. "In these days it is certainly autumn back home sweet Marta, Marta my dear / I remember the hay and your Normandy's horses, we were free, free / On the wall images dripping wet, stains without freedom / Listens, Marta, in this strange autumn your horses scream, in chains by now / What to say, to choke, prisoner here, why? / Put in jail just because of an ideal, because of my way of thinking, why? / The road I chose for myself is far away / The truth lives on where everything deserves attention because it's alive, because it's true / At least you can break trough, nomadic song, so fly away! / This cell is full of my despair, but at least you, don't let them take you!". So the message of the "runaway song" is a message of hope: you can't kill ideals just throwing common people or political leaders in jail. BMS' music is powerful and full of desperate energy; percussions and acoustic guitar breaks here seem to be a kind of "tribute" to South America, subcontinent where in the seventies dictatorships used to rule. "You condemn to make it easy, but my idea is already assaulting you / You can only torture my flesh, but my brain is still alive, it leaves on / Laments of guitars wrongly suspected, sigh softly / And you, proud-eyed women with mouths like pomegranate, do not cry / Because I am born, born free, free! / Don't waste any requiem masses for me / I am born free!"... The laments of the "wrongly suspected" guitars here are those of the Inti-Illimani, but also those of musicians like Gilberto Gil or Caetano Veloso, persecuted in their homeland because of their social engagement. When listening to this long and complex track try to think about it.

The second track is the dreamy and bittersweet "Non mi rompete" (Do Not Disturb), where the almost operatic vocals of Francesco Di Giacomo float over an amazing acoustic guitar carpet until the joyful closing section. "Do not wake me up, please / But let me have this sleep / Either it's calm like that of a child / Or it stinks of snoozing like that of a drunk / Why do you want to disturb me / While I'm perhaps dreaming a winged travel / Upon a wagon without wheels / Dragged from the horses of the mistral / In the cold wind, in flight / Do not wake me up, please / But let me have this sleep / There's still time for the day / When the eyes get drenched with tears / My eyes, with tears." This is one of the best known BMS' songs and it is still usually performed as "gran finale" on stage.

"If you choose to believe me, good. Now I will tell how is made Octavia, the spider-web city. There is a precipice between two steep mountains: the city is over the void, bound to the two crests with ropes and chains and catwalks." (Italo Calvino, from "Invisible cities"). The Italian writer Italo Calvino in 1972 wrote a novel called "Invisible cities", where he draw incredible and suggestive landscapes of imaginary cities that inspired painters and. musicians? I suggest to read this book if you really want to get into the oneiric mood of "La città sottile" (The Thin City) and of his strange character, a naked madman living on the last beam, described in this song. "Who are you, city not-city living hanging down from your ropes of static air? / Beams, tubes without dimensions, cold aged quartzes / Your thousand lifts of thin paper go up and down without a rest / Nobody comes down, nobody goes up / Thin not-city that bears everything upon nothing." The music is complex with piano and keyboards in the forefront, vocals are intense and sometimes recitative. The imagination of the listener has to complete the work. "Here the wind doesn't blow away the noises / But anyhow there is a silence that knows how to write in the static air / Thin not-city, among your perennial shades of grey, alone".

"Dopo... niente è più lo stesso" (After. Nothing is the same) is a long and struggling song about the inhumanity of war. The lyrics describe the feelings of a soldier coming back home from World War Two, after Stalingrad's battle. "Strong train, impatient train, straight on the right way you're just arrived / I recognize you, my land, you kiss my boots at every step / Powerful land, how I've been invoking you in the first days, when the guns were thundering! / Mountains that stop my breath, are you wise like in the old days? / My shoulder let drop my rifle and the glory falls down, the Glory?! / What comes back is a man completely worn out. What have I won, where have I won, when I know that I'm dead inside now, among my ruins? / My god! What did you make to me in Stalingrad!?!..." The structure of this track is complex, with changes of rhythm and mood, vocals are intense and with some recitative parts and I think that you have to understand the lyrics to completely appreciate it because the music underlines and emphasises the meaning of the words. "Swollen tongues, full bellies do not speak to me about freedom / You call right war what I curse! / God called to him the heroes, in Heaven close to Him / But you can't smell the incense in the trenches / My true heroism begins here, from this mud / My beloved woman I used to love you and we'll make love again / But how is weak our embrace in this meeting / What have I won, where have I won, when I see that nothing is same, everything is different? / My god! What did you make to me of so devastating, in Stalingrad!?!". Probably the feelings of the soldier described in this song are not so different from the feelings of every soldier coming back home from every war. The happiness to see home again mixed with feelings of horror and pain as souvenirs of war. disgust for the shrines of glory.

The final track, "Traccia II" is an amazing short instrumental with classical influences blended with rock.

In the whole, I think that "Io sono nato libero" deserves a place in every progressive rock collection

P.S.: Thanks to Raffaella Benvenuto for the translation of "Canto nomade per un prigioniero politico", though I slightly changed some passages. The translations of the lyrics of this song and of "Non mi rompete" are complete, while I translated only partially "La città sottile" and "Dopo. Niente è più lo stesso" but my aim was only to let you know what the songs are about.

andrea | 5/5 |


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