La Finestra Dentro
01. Un galantuomo (4:37)
02. Ho un grande vuoto nella testa (3:43)
03. Metamorfosi (4:03)
04. Scavando col badile (5:48)
05. John (6:35)
06. Un fiume di luce (2:12)
07. Il regno dell'Eden (9:28)
- Juri Camisasca / vocals, lyrics, guitars, music
- Franco Battiato / production, VCS3
- Pino Massara / production, keyboards
- Maurizio Petra / guitars
- Gianni Mocchetti / guitars, bass
- Mario Ellepi / guitars
- Gianfranco D'Adda / drums, percussion
- Lino Capra / percussion
- Marco Ravasio / violin
- Antonella Conz / backing vocals
- Rosella Conz / backing vocals
La Finestra Dentro really isn't what you'd call mainstream RPI, but rather a twisted, reclusive and mysterious offshoot from the generally more outgoing and flamboyant Italian scene.
The collection of songs carries elements of folk with strong acid tendencies, while never leaving well-known RPI sounds out of reach. They're quite a fascinating bunch, all cast in the same eerie, suggestive and hypnotizing mold. Listening to this album always distracts me from whatever I'm doing, only due to the power of its atmosphere. At times it may feel like a soundtrack from a dark and shabby medieval tavern, just as frightening as it is fascinating, and it's never light enough to break that spell.
Compositions are seemingly simple on the surface, featuring little more than acoustic guitar, stripped percussion and a simple bassline, with emphasis on patiently dragging you in to the aforementioned atmosphere rather than stun you with complexity and contagious melodies. The result is songs with relatively few rhythmical and structural changes, instead biased towards minute tweaks (often via guitars) - which makes you listen even more closely - and reinforcing feeling and imagery through bleak keyboard runs and effects.
When breaking out of the introvert folk 'rut', the bigger picture is immediately discernible. As soon as on the second track, a quite warm piano-driven track that contrasts nicely against the vocal and emotional onslaught of the first one, it's hinted that there is more than first meets the...ear on La Finestra Dentro. Symphonic qualities lurk behind every corner and are most notable towards the final songs Un Fiume Di Luce and Il Regno dell'Eden. However, they're never really dominant or up-front enough to really distract or take over the music. Absolutely there, but still not. Very tough to explain, but very neatly done. The producers must have done something right (amongst which you find Franco Battiato, who also plays VC3 synthesiser here). You'll never be hit by a colourful array of keys like from Le Orme or in-your-face virtuosity à la Banco, but rather learn to appreciate the subtle possibilities of these instruments.
Leaving difficult hair-splitting aside, this is first and foremost a vocal album. Juri Camisaca has a very distinct, very 'Italian' voice far from the angelic tones of the Jon Andersons of this world. It is often a little rough, and Un Galantuomo's angst-ridden effort may be successful in delivering emotion, but will need a couple of spins before you accept it for what it is. Other than that, it's a great pleasure hearing him. Gladly experimenting with tone, style and other vocal possibilities besides actually singing or speaking leaves a lasting impression more thrilling and rejuvenating than I would have thought after first judging on track one.
A solid, emotionally fractured effort, captivating just as much because of what is there as it is because of what's lacking. I'm torn between three and four stars, but because of La Finestra Dentro's peculiarity and limited appeal for a casual fan of the sub, I guess the first choice is more appropriate. This is not for everyone, but well worth the time I've invested so far.