Review Summary: The turning point of the Sicilian master
"L'era del cinghiale bianco" is the turning point in Franco Battiato's career. After having published, during the 70s, eight albums ranging from avant-garde prog to minimal music, all making his own the electronic lection of Stockhausen (of which Battiato was a disciple) and Messiaenen, with this album the Sicilian master operates a sharp swerve towards pop music. It is important to note how this happens while preserving all the elements that had characterized the first part of his career: the sophisticated use of electronics, the unusual melodic scores, the cultured references of the texts (René Guenon quoted in "Il re del mondo", the jumble of quotations in "Luna indiana"). All this, however, is grafted onto a melodic structure with a new wave flavor (look at the Electric violin of the title track or the electric guitars of "Strade dell'est"), without forgetting a world fusion component that gives intensity and exoticism to the compositions ("Pasqua etiope", "Stranizza d'amuri").
The remarkable thing is that, although this album is at the same time accessible to the general public and enjoyable also by a more elite audience, Battiato does not make a simple juxtaposition between pop catchy refrains and artistic avant-garde: the two elements blend perfectly, without that one yields to the needs of the other and without them being inhomogeneous.
"L'era del cinghiale bianco" is, ultimately, the turning point in the career of the Catania artist, who from here on will dedicate himself to a highly personal and refined reinterpretation of pop music, becoming the bearer of aesthetic and thematic novelties which will profoundly influence the Italian music scene in the years to come.