4 of 4 thought this review was well writtenVarious Artists
When I recently traveled over to Italy I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. Although, I am half Italian I, like many other people knew nothing more about Italy than the fact that they make good wine, good pizza and the whole country is shaped like a boot. So, for me the trip was a learning experience. I learned many, many things while I was there, about their culture, how things were built, how the make their food etc. I also learned that they have singers there who are nobodies, but here could easily win Canadian/American Idol! One night during the first week while I was on tour my family and I went out for dinner with the other thirty-five or so people on the tour. Upon dining on some sort of platter of fried vegetables (which I was not fond of) I noticed a woman and two men, one with an accordion walk into the center of the room. Our tour guide then informed us all that these people would be singing some classic Italian opera for us. At first I wasn’t too happy about this. I hadn’t heard too much opera music before and sort of assumed it wasn’t my thing, though I do like classical music. My views were soon changed. After a few short notes on the accordion the male singer came in with a powerful burst of staccato soon accompanied by the female soprano throwing elongated ridiculously high pitched notes overtop. Now, I don’t mean “ridiculously high pitched” in a bad way. It sounded beautiful really, picture the exact opposite of “You’re Beautiful” by James Blunt. I meant it like “boy was it high pitched”, like glass shattering. I was also quite astounded to find that I actually recognized some of the songs they were singing. I assume I came across them in movies like “The Godfather”, or something. Anyways, about half way through dinner I began to think about something. These singers were really amazing. I mean like better than any singers we have in North America, yet they were singing for people in a restaurant! I soon discovered that Italy is packed full of spectacular singers. They’re literally everywhere. I was merely walking down the street in the small town of Navelli, which is a small town I stayed in after the tour and out of no where I heard this old man start to sing and he’s was great, too. Talented singers are truly plentiful there. Anyways, back to dinner. Near the meals end I noticed the singers were selling copies of their CD. It wasn’t music they had written themselves, but more of a cover album for classic Italian opera songs. Considering they were only charging ten euros I picked it up. As I expected upon getting it I absolutely love this album. It’s full of contrasting tracks so it never really gets old. There are some more serious sounding tracks. Although, it’s hard to whether or not they’re that serious because they are sang entirely in Italian, but just by listening to them you can tell they’re more serious. The album also featured some more playful tracks. I particularly enjoyed the piano in these tracks as it was more bouncy and fun. Not to say the piano for the sadder tracks wasn’t great as well. It was very well written too and being accompanied by the near flawless vocals this album is just short of being a classic.
The Overall Feel
This album really had two different overall feels to it. It had a playful side and an emotional one, as well. I noticed that the playful tracks were more orientated towards the male singer. This may be due to the fact that the Female singers voice is extremely high pitched and more suited for emotional tracks, while the males has a more wholesome sound to it that better suites the fun sounding tracks. I also noticed that in these tracks the piano generally played shorter staccato notes, while the sadder tracks had a lot more flowing chords. So, taking both sides of this album into consideration it’s really not something I would listen to when I’m sad, or happy. This is mostly due to the fact that the album isn’t in English and opera while being a wonderful genre of music is not something I can listen to daily. This album is however great when you have company over and are enjoying a nice glass of Chianti. It will set a nice tone for the evening and make you seem more cultured in front of you friends, which is never a bad thing. If you’re more into opera you may want to listen to this more often, though. I’ve never heard the original versions of these songs, but as far as I can tell the pair did a pretty good job of covering the songs. They were in key throughout the entire album, but if you’re like me and more into rock and metal this isn’t something you’ll want to listen to very often. If you can even find it, for that matter.
As I believe I’ve mentioned a few times now the vocals in this album were simply marvelous. The power behind these people’s voices is jaw dropping. I think the main reason we don’t have vocals like this in modern music today is that the vocalists would completely over shadow the instrumentals! I particularly liked the female singer’s voice. She did a rendition of Ave Maria
that was simply exquisite. She hit every note dead on and the passion in her voice could make your knees wobble. Luckily for me I’m sitting down. Not to say that the male singer wasn’t brilliant. I found that his voice while not being as technically sound as the females contained a bit more power, which he exploited frequently throughout the album. The power behind his voice and the soft technically sound of hers give this album a lovely contrast. Sort of a having your cake and eating it too sort of concept. I only wish these peoples names were mentioned on the album, so I could see if they had website, or any more albums out I could order. They’re just brilliant, hands down.
The piano in this album wasn’t the best I’ve heard, unlike the vocals. I think some of America’s artists like Elton John, or Larry Gowan could top it, but it’s still splendid. It manages to be the wind under the wings in most tracks. It doesn’t really get too much attention, but it does its part. Without the piano this album just wouldn’t feel whole. It’s soft melodies and high pitched staccato notes frolicked from one ear to another like a small doe frolicking in a grassy meadow. The majority of the piano work was also very well written, though that can’t be credited to the pianist on the album, as they were all cover songs. I wish there was more I could say about the piano, but there really isn’t. It doesn’t have to much of a role in this album. Just to elevate the singers voices really, they’re the main focus.