Acqua Fragile

Acqua Fragile

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Where most Italian progressive rock favors the overblown symphonic tendencies of the music's Emerson, Lake & Palmer axis, the comparatively unassuming Acqua Fragile is a much more gentle affair. Think Gentle Giant or the more lyrical moments of early Yes or Renaissance. (It will be almost impossible not to think of early Genesis; singer Bernardo Lanzetti sounds frighteningly similar to Peter Gabriel, especially on the opening "Morning Comes," which would not sound out of place on Trespass or Nursery Cryme.) The lyrics, in English, are pretty atrocious -- "Science Fiction Suite" is about as promising as its name suggests -- but really not much more so than many prog bands singing in their mother tongue. Musically, however, the album is often quite lovely, with acoustic guitars predominating on most tracks and some impressive multi-tracked harmonies coloring the arrangements. Barclay James Harvest fans will particularly like the single "Comic Strips."

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