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    Main » 2010 » June » 15 » Acqua Fragile ~ 1973 ~ Acqua Fragile
    Acqua Fragile ~ 1973 ~ Acqua Fragile
    genre: prog
    country: italy
    quality: lossless (flac, cue, log, scans)
    time: 36'56"  size: 259 mb

    01. Morning Comes 7:25
    02. Comic Strips 3:59
    03. Science Fiction Suite 5:57
    04. Song From A Picture 4:12
    05. Education Story 4:17
    06. Going Out 2:59
    07. Three Hands Man 8:07

    - Gino Campanini / guitar, vocals
    - Piero Canavera / guitar, drums, vocals
    - Franz Dondi / bass
    - Bernardo Lanzetti / guitar, vocals
    - Maurizio Mori / keyboards, vocals

    Acqua Fragile is one of those second (or third?) tier Italian bands like Campo Di Marte, Corte Dei Miracoli and Alusa Fallax that for one reason or another never met with a tremendous amount of contemporary success, but who each have their own set of core devotees among current proggers.  Their self-titled debut is a nice album of PFM-styled Itali-prog, though with more of a pop/folk edge and English lyrics.  I wouldn't call it essential, but it's certainly enjoyable, and a solid addition to any collection of Italian symphonic.  All songs are for the most part structured around the vocal parts, in a fairly consistent verse/chorus/verse style, with just enough instrumental complexity to place it firmly in the "prog" genre.  Can be very poppy and catchy at points, yet certainly retains the charm of 70's Italian prog, though not particularly ambitious.  Vocals are in English, which originally put me off, but actually aren't at all bad (aside from the expectedly mediocre lyrics).  Sure, I'd prefer them in Italian, but it doesn't drag things down too much.
    The album starts out promising, as "Morning Comes" is probably the finest track on the album.  This is a great vocal oriented track with a darker tone that recalls, fittingly, Trespass-era Genesis and classic PFM.  "Comic Strips" is also nice, with a powerful chorus.  The album starts to lag a bit for me in the middle, as tracks like "Song from a Picture" and "Going Out" get bogged down in overly poppy folkiness.  "Three Hands Man" picks things up again, exhibiting a more complex side to the band, with great organ and guitar duels and aggressively catchy vocal part.  Acqua Fragile's sound works much better for me when they crank up the "rock" factor, as on the first and last tracks, though I could see how one might find the band's lilting poppieness on the rest "refreshing", as my colleague Mike Prett put it.  A nice album that's worth checking out for PFM worshippers, but I can't make an all-out recommendation.  I'm glad I own it though, even if just for a handful of the tracks.
    - Greg Northrup [March 2001]
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