Note: Feed readers, there are several videos embedded in this post. Click through to the site to view them.
An update from last year’s Italian Summer Music 2007 roundup: Check out my Italian Music section to immediately buy some popular albums!
I usually use the FestivalBar CDs as a bit of a barometer for the Italian hits of the summer. They must be hard up for money, as they are also shameless enough to have the FestivalBar site hosted by MSN and they are taking a “year off” of doing the FestivalBar tour.
By now the compilations are pretty predictable: almost half “foreign” bands: Duffy, Amy Winehouse (a mere two years after her album came out), Coldplay, Leona Lewis, James Blunt; the usual “Italian standby’s” : Zucchero, Vasco Rossi, Max Pezzali, Ligabue mixed in with some new(er) blood.
The biggest phenomenon this summer is of course Giusy Ferreri, who is not on the FestivalBar CD. She is the runner-up to X-Factor show in Italy (Leona Lewis was a winner in the UK version of X-Factor)
Giusy is extraordinarily popular not only because she sings well, but because she was “just a cashier” in a supermarket before being discovered on X-Factor, and this is usually the first phrase out of someone’s mouth when speaking about her. I would call her the “Italian Amy Winehouse” without, of course, all the drugs and crack-house features. Yet.
Here’s the song performed during the finals of X-Factor: Non Ti Scordar Mai Di Me (Don’t Ever Forget About Me) written for her by none other than Tiziano Ferro (mentioned in last summer’s round-up) [Buy Giusy Ferreri’s album]
So, who won X-Factor, you might ask? An acapella group called the Aram Quartet who now have their single “Per Elisa” making the rounds heavily on radio and TV. They have pretty good voices, though this is a remake of an old hit, but the melodramatic tone of the video kind of makes me chuckle and the various outfit changes (with sunglasses, without glasses) makes me wonder how many of them are really in the group.
Negramaro, mentioned in my post about Italian Summer Music 2007 with “Parlami d’Amore” (and who were quite good live at FestivalBar) are back with another song this summer, Via Le Mani Dagli Occhi (Take (Your) Hands Off Your Eyes). [Buy Negramaro’s La Finestra album]
This next song came out before the summer break (and Michelle from Michellanea talked about this song in June), but I think it’s worth noting as it combines two interesting Italian artists: Fabri Fibra (a rapper from Le Marche) and Gianna Nannini (the Italian “Melissa Ethridge”) in a song called “In Italia” about the dichotomy of the reality of the beautiful and dysfunctional sides of Italy – I recommend taking a look at the Italian lyrics. From the chorus:
“There are things no one will tell you
There are things no one will give you
You were born and will die here
You were born and will die here
Born in the country of the half-truths”
Above all, I really like some of the images that the director included in the black and white video, these little slices of Italy and the people who live there. [Buy Fabri Fibra’s Bugiardo or Tradimento albums]
Caparezza is noted for his crazy hair, his catchy music (Sono Fuori dal Tunnel, Vengo dalla Luna), but of course his beats are usually wrapped around a social commentary. “Vieni a ballare in Puglia” (Come dance in Puglia) is another song that is undeniably catchy (our 5-year-old cousin sings it often) but I suggest reading the original lyrics while watching the video as you’ll see “Turista tu balli e canti, io conto i defunti di questo paese” Tourist, you dance and sing, I count the dead of this country.
Bet you’ll dance, though. [Buy Caparezza’s Habemus Capa]
An “oldie” but a goodie is Jovanotti who has been around for a while and whose “A Te” single from the album Safari is popular right now but I would suggest listening to “L’ombelico del Mondo” below for a fun, drum-filled dancing song from the 90s. [Buy Jovanotti’s Safari or 1990-1995 Raccolta with the single below]
Elisa is one of the first Italian artists I discovered in 2000, and though she sings mainly in English, she’s finally making her debut in the US with “Dancing” (available on iTunes and Amazon) – many songs are from her previous albums. Below is Elisa’s song “Dancing” featured on “So You Think You Can Dance” (US) and the full-length song of Dancing mixed with clips of Elisa’s other videos.
And what about the quintessential “latin” hit of the summer? Well, it looks like this summer we’re to be spared from overkill on one particular song, though I’ve heard Cinema2’s Ah Ah Ah a few times. Maybe next year!