Title: The Wandering Caravan
Group: Marco Ragni
Released: 2018
Label: Melodic Revolution Records
Format: CD
Genre: Progressive
4.5 out 5 stars

The previous Marco Ragni that I listened reminded furiously Pink Floyd, a delight of guitars without real identity alas. Not being a seeker of an eternal album like Gilmour or Waters, I could have stopped there, but his last record, The Wandering Caravan, with his artwork and title, titillait my curiosity, so I plunged again. It is with surprise and delight that I discovered seven pieces slightly retro progressive, a little jazzy, and a little last ‘Back home again’ reconnecting a few moments with the troubled waters of a certain bassist.

Marco speaks of his album: an introspective, metaphysical journey, evoking memories of love, pain, life, his life.

If the title of the album and the first seconds of ‘What we have done in the past we will be in the future’ announced an orientalizing hour, from the third minute we settle down in a retro prog geneissien which will resurface to many times, as in ‘Keep dreaming’.

A nostalgic album of the 70’s? Not exactly, because from ‘Waiting on the threshold’, the discerning listener understands that Marco is confusing the cards.

The first impression left by The Wandering Caravan is that of a music all but smooth, without the arrangements adjusted in the studio so that it is the taste of everyone. The sounds of the album, the choice of transitions have a particular touch that constantly solicits the ear and the brain, refusing the natural note, harmonic ease, to find another, beautiful and unexpected. If throughout the album we find forms to the Genesis, Harmonium, Yes, Camel or Pink Floyd, none of the titles is really close to the aforementioned groups; a tour de force. Apart from the psychedelic ‘It’s only fantasy’ a bit confusing at first, the album remains very accessible to the average proghead. Marco leaves the lead guitar to Peter Matuchniak to devote himself fully to singing and accompaniment, acoustic guitar, bass and mandolin. Luca Zabbini rips Hammond organ while Ian Beabout plays Genesis and Harmonium. During these fifty-three minutes, you will often hear the wind instruments of Dave Newhouse, but also the oud of Nadav Yitzhak at the beginning of ‘What we have done in the past we will be in the future’ and the violin of Michael Zentner in ‘Back home again’. It is Jeff Mack who holds the bass most often, and the battery, very prog, was polished by Maurizio Antonini. An album rich in musicians, anchored in the 70’s and rhymes past with modernity.

Renouer avec les sonorités des années soixante-dix sans pour autant se vautrer dans le rétro prog académique et nostalgique, tel est le défi réussi de The Wandering Caravan. Et si Marco n’est pas une grande voix du prog, son timbre et son phrasé siéent à merveille à l’atmosphère très particulière de cette caravane vagabonde.

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Translated English by google translate
Read the original album review here http://neoprog.eu/critique/marco_ragni/the_wandering_caravan

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