Search - Acqua Fragile :: Mass Media Stars (24bt) (Mlps)

Mass Media Stars (24bt) (Mlps)
Acqua Fragile
Mass Media Stars (24bt) (Mlps)
Genres: Pop, Rock
  •  Track Listings (6) - Disc #1

Limited Edition Japanese pressing of this album comes housed in a miniature LP sleeve. 2007.


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CD Details

All Artists: Acqua Fragile
Title: Mass Media Stars (24bt) (Mlps)
Members Wishing: 1
Total Copies: 0
Label: Bmg Japan
Release Date: 8/20/2007
Album Type: Import, Original recording remastered
Genres: Pop, Rock
Styles: Progressive, Progressive Rock
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1


Album Description
Limited Edition Japanese pressing of this album comes housed in a miniature LP sleeve. 2007.

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CD Reviews

Great second (and final) album by this Italian band
BENJAMIN MILER | Veneta, Oregon | 09/17/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Way back in 1996 I got to hear Acqua Fragile's second and final album Mass-Media Stars and didn't like it all that much. I had a real problem with Bernardo Lanzetti's heavily accented and harsh vocals. But over ten years later I got to hear this album again and it had really grew on me big time since and I now even find it better than their debut. Originally I preferred their debut over this one because the vocals didn't seem as intrusive (they were still harsh and heavily accented but not as much as Mass-Media Stars). Strange how my attitude changed towards this album in over ten years.

Mass-Media Stars was originally released in 1974 on the Dischi Ricordi label, but also released in the U.S. on the long defunct Import label (presumably around 1978, as I don't think the label existed prior to 1976), likely to drive home the PFM connection, since the album was produced by PFM and Claudio Fabi, and Bernardo Lanzetti would join the group after this album for Chocolate Kings, Jet Lag, and Passpartu. Both the Italian and American pressings aren't that much different, aside from label. They both included a lyrics inner sleeve, with the original English lyrics, and translations into Italian. Strangely this album also received a Venezuelan pressing, oddly (since I didn't realize the label had a license to operate out of Italy) on Dischi Ricordi in 1976 (label looks much the same, except it was blue and black, rather than orange and black, and the song listings are in Spanish).

Well, Acqua Fragile went for an even more progressive direction for Mass-Media Stars with less emphasis on acoustic stuff, more emphasizing electric instruments (although acoustic guitar is still used). Maurizio Mori replaced his Eminent 310 (at least that what I think I heard on their debut) with a Mellotron, and is included on some of the cuts, but mainly as background, nothing that'll blow you away in that department. Some low-key synthesizers are included too. But warning: Bernardo Lanzetti's voice is an acquired taste and for some reason his voice is even more harsh and heavily accented than their 1973 debut. But then Acqua Fragile (as well as Chocolate Kings-era PFM) always had its detractors and was usually focused on Lanzetti himself. That really made it difficult for me to appreciate this album all those years ago. "Cosmic Mind Affair" is a fantastic opening cut. You might hear some of that Genesis sound, especially Lanzetti who has a voice comparable to Peter Gabriel or Family's Roger Chapman (as many others stated, as I happen to agree). "Bar Gazing" is a more mellow, acoustic-dominated piece, it wouldn't be out of place on their debut, but then the Mellotron kicks in and the piece ends up with a more symphonic feel. The title track is another great highlight for me. I really dig the lyrics that go: "We know to rock and roll, much better than Elvis. Our tricks go back and forth while shaking our pelvis", showing the less-serious side of the band, although this song is an attack on the entertainment mass-media and of media produced musical sensations (they could be attacking the Monkees, but instead the group used a fictitious group called The Swinging Guys, as stated in the lyrics, which strikes me as part rock and roll act, part circus act). "Professor" has lyrics that are critical of academia, or at least professors who think they're better than the students, who'd rather punish the students than listen to them. This song, musically, is similar to "Three Hands Man", but that's no surprise, this is Acqua Fragile. The rest of the album is more or less more of the same, heavily influenced by the likes of Genesis, Yes, and Family, with the occasional Gentle Giant-like tricks. PFM is also the big comparison, but more closer to Chocolate Kings than Per Un Amico. In fact, I'm pretty sure Mass-Media Stars inspired PFM to go more or less this direction for Chocolate Kings (especially because Bernardo Lanzetti joined that group for that, and their next two albums).

I have to say both Acqua Fragile's albums are worth having, but I really think Mass-Media Stars is their best. This is certainly a great album of Italian prog. Maybe not as up there as PFM's Per Un Amico, Museo Rosenbach's Zarathustra or Osanna's Palepoli, but still a worthwhile album to have in your collection, if you don't mind the vocals."