This young Italian band from Milan distills the melodic charm of classic Italian progressive rock into 13 accessible, economically arranged tracks it aptly describes as “...prog music dressed as pop or the exact opposite.” Heading the quartet is Simone Corazzari (lead vocals/guitars/writing/ production) joined by Massimiliano Masciari (bass/steel drum), Francesco Meles (drums/ percussion) and Marco Antonio Cerioli (keyboards/vocals). Twelve guests assist on additional instruments including saxophone, cello, didgeridoo, castanets plus backing vocals.
Eight tunes are sung in Italian, three reprised with English lyrics, Corazzari's emotive vocal delivery governing each. Two instrumentals offer respite: two-minute “On Da Bridge” is a jazz-fusiony rave-up. The four-minute “Alien's Trip” is an infectiously wistful number that builds slowly from gently swinging guitar and bass lines into a triumphant bliss-out riding Maurizio Signorino's amazingly lyrical sax amidst chanted tribal-like chorus vocals.
It's clear why Le Folli Arie included English versions of three tracks - “Shot in the Dark”, “A Better Day Tomorrow” and “It's Not Easy”. These are smartly constructed, hook-laden crossover tunes – sing-along fare that stays with you. In a prog climate bursting with bombast and complex wankery, sometimes a memorable song is all you need. John Collinge