Morte di un Amore is an album that straddles the fences between movie music, progressive rock and adult pop. It is very slickly recorded with a real "big studio" sheen, emotional vocals (in Italian) and flirtations with lots of styles including reggae, ambient, night club entertainment (think ’70’s Tom Jones or maybe Neil Diamond), and even some Simon and Garfunkelish folk (must be the recorders, sounding like "El Condor Pasa"), all backed by thick string (mostly keyboards, though there seems to be some real strings too) orchestrations and acoustic guitar strumming. Actually, some of it reminds of Pink Floyd a bit, though not as bluesy (and missing Dave Gilmour’s guitar solos). Songs are frequently separated by sound effects like breaking surf, screeching cats or radio broadcasts of Hitler.
The main instrument here is clearly Randone’s vocals, with nothing too startling happening in the other instruments. Randone calls himself a "psycho-existential" artist (whatever that means), and making CD’s is only one of the art forms he utilizes. He also works with odd photographic images and collages. In fact, it may be easier to understand this CD as the output of an "artist" rather than a "musician". It follows, then, that this would be more categorized as "art-rock" than "prog", at least by my pideonholing. I can’t even tell from his artistic (but confusing) web site whether this is his only CD or if he’s released other music.
There are some nice but not too threatening guitar solos here, but this is mostly a vocal album. Too bad I can’t speak Italian … this seems as if it must be a concept album telling a story, but if so I don’t know what the story is. My admittedly poor Italian translates Morte di un Amore as "Death of a Love", and if this is a concept album, that would explain the photo of the beautiful naked young woman on the inside cover, who in spite of being beautiful, looks dead. Or at least as if she’s about to lose her lunch. Or perhaps she’s simply bored witless.
"Morte di un amore" is also the title of the last song, a piece which continues beyond the 6:58 listed on the CD jacket, proceeds into a thunderstorm, and continues with … uhm … is it the entire piece played again backwards? It’s certainly some piece played backwards. I do like that sound, it always sounds so surreal. If you let your CD player repeat back to the beginning, the backwards part nearly merges with the opening backwards part, making the CD close in a loop. Interesting, and it seems as if this must be done on purpose.
I don’t know if most GEPR readers would find this to be a particularly interesting release, but I liked it. Recommended if you like vocal-oriented entertainers, and this one has a proggy edge to make him more interesting. But this isn’t a highly experimental or challenging release, so if that’s what you like, this one’s not for you. — Fred Trafton