After the momentary abandonment to pop music to concentrate on the realization of the opera "Genesi" (1987), Franco Battiato returns with this "Fisiognomica".
It is a decisive change of course compared to the synthpop that had characterized the last "Mondi lontanissimi", especially in the themes, which become more introspective and oriented towards that spiritual research that will also characterize the following albums.
Musically, the atmospheres become more rarefied and at the same time elaborate, with a calibrated use of operatic voices, choirs, middleastern and world fusion refrains and ideas taken from classical music.
If on the one hand there are less effective episodes (the soporific atmospheres of "Secondo imbrunire", the inconclusive arrangement of "Il mito dell'amore"), the rest of the album is of an excellent level.
They range from "Veni l'Autunnu", sung in Sicilian and Arabic, to the magnificent "Zai Saman" (also with a refrain in Arabic, and a bridge that anticipates by twenty years certain things of Middle Eastern prog metal bands like Amaseffer and Myrath !), while the title track enchants in the contrast between the delicate verse and a majestic refrain.
The real masterpieces, however, are "E ti vengo a cercare" (the poignant song of man in search of God), the reinterpretation of "Nomadi" (written by the legendary Juri Camisasca for Alice and inserted by the latter in her masterpiece "Il sole nella pioggia") and the concluding track "L'oceano di silenzio", in which an iridescent carpet of synths acts as a counterpoint to the wonderful text composed by the Swiss writer Fleur Jaeggy.
Ultimately, a difficult album but full of surprises, and which marks the stylistic and thematic turning point of Battiato in the 90s.