Ralph Latella | Norwalk, Connecticut | 12/11/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is an incredicle listening experience. Rich in modal work it evokes memories and emotions it actually takes you to another place. It's very hipnotic. Also there is an incredible number and combination of instruments involved. One of my favorite has classical guitar and bagpipes happening."
gcaroti | New York, NY United States | 05/02/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This follow-up to Cogli la Prima Mela features some of Branduardi's strongest songwriting, with a more refined and tight studio production than the raw and folksy approach of the Italian singer's earlier work from the 70's. Where as Cogli La Prima Mela offers more pastoral impressions, Cercando L'Oro is a moodier and more somber record. Not coincidentally, the cover is black in contrast to the bright green of its predecessor. This time Branduardi trades the use of string arrangements with more modern studio sounds. The use of synthesizers remains subtle and not schlockingly overbearing as it often was in the newly digitized 80's when many other folk/celtic groups embraced the technology and introduced the world to the sappiness of the Celtic/new age. Branduardi here, was more cautious and conservative with digital technology. Only on a second listen one notices that the prominent quasi-fusion use of the electric bass is only present to sustain and accentuate his nostalgic old tunes. As always, he remains faithful to his medieval passions and is keen on the melodic without venturing far into new musical territory. The introductory tune "Il Libro" has the same feel of the processional marches that popularized his older records, now against the backdrop of a thumping drum machine. It is truly the only song that kicks in forcefully; almost planted to catch the listener's attention and to sit him down before carrying him away in a land of moods. The remainder of the album flows along gently and melodically. He integrates Celtic instruments successfully, most notably Alan Stivell's harp. Everything feels in place, all the instruments are tightly controlled and never showy. The lyrics in Italian are at times so simple and straight forward that become suitable for children's tunes. Branduardi's faint singing still remains his weakest asset. Yet, he manages to complement it to the flowy and magical quality of the songs. He is like a storyteller whispering old bed-time tales to music whose haunting atmosphere carries you away."