Subtitled "a journey into the 70s Italian police O.S.T.," this generous compilation from Plastic Records follows in the successful footsteps of Beretta 70, and compiles a series of instrumentals from the soundtracks of the many police-oriented thrillers that were produced in Italy during the 1970s. Like their American counterparts, these police thrillers downplayed the traditional orchestrated film score style in favor of a strong emphasis on jazz and funk elements. Great examples of this hard-edged style include "Gangster Story," which adds and subtracts layers of guitar, organ, and choral harmonies over a fast-paced jazz beat, and "Running to the Airport," which draws its musical strength from the tension between its jazz-inflected horn arrangement and the churning funkiness of its rhythm section. Other strong tracks include "Running Against the Time," a track that layers jazz horn and acidic fuzz guitar soloing over an insistent staccato bassline, and "Affanno," a track where punchy horn riffs flutter around a percolating groove from the rhythm section. Some ballad-paced tracks are also thrown in for the occasional breather: one of the best is "The Stranger Lady," a short but effective cut that layers a lush string arrangement over a mournful electric guitar solo. Not all the tracks on Piombo Rovente are as strong as these highlights, but the album benefits from a consistent overall sound and a generous track selection that pushes the 70-minute mark. Plot summaries and cast info are also provided in the liner notes for those who wanted to track down the films covered by this compilation. All in all, Piombo Rovente is a solid and worthwhile compilation that will please fans of funky soundtracks and anyone who enjoyed Beretta 70.
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AllMusic Review by Donald A. Guarisco