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Fabrizio De André - Le Nuvole CD (album) cover


Fabrizio De André


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4.07 | 22 ratings

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4 stars I have the privilege of writing the first review of "Le Nuvole"! "Le Nuvole" (The Clouds) is De Andre's penultimate album. It's a heterogeneous record, sung in many languages, with some memorable songs and other gregarious songs. It's a transition album between the masterpiece "Creuza de Ma" (written with Pagani), and the other masterpiece "Anime Salve" (written with Fossati). In fact both Pagani and Fossati appear on the disc, and even Bubola appears, with whom De Andrč had collaborated before the ethnic turn of Creuza de Ma.

Fabrizio De Andrč is accompanied throughout the album by excellent musicians who help him in arrangements, like the multi- instrumentalists Mauro Pagani (ex PFM) and Sergio Conforti, who are the rulers of the great folk and popular orchestra that contributes to playing an infinity of traditional instruments.

The first song (Le nuvole) is a recitative (in Italian) that poetically describes the appearance and the behavior of the clouds in the sky. The lyrics are not interpreted by De Andrč, but by two women, Lalla Pisano and Maria Mereu, who recite in a theatrical way. This short recitative song is an intro to the album (no vote, or 6,5).

"Ottocento" (Eight Hundreds or Nineteenth Century), written by De Andrč and Mauro Pagani is a five minute song with an orchestral arrangement (directed by Piero Milesi). Sung in Italian by Fabrizio De Andrč (called Faber), it is a semi-serious song that parodies the opera. in fact the voice of Faber is set like that of an opera singer (I would say a baritone) but deliberately in a caricatural way - De Andrč has a beautiful tone of voice and a beautiful diction but not a powerful voice or great extension. The track ends with an accelerated tour de force of a Tyrolean jodel sung by a lot of singers. Very strange. Vote 7,5.

The beginning of the Lp is interlocutory.

"Don Raffae'" (Mr. Raphael), lyrics written by De Andrč and Bubola, is a surprising song. In a joking way that mixes popular jargon and cultured quotations, the protagonist tells how organized crime in Naples works (called "Camorra", similar to Mafia). The song is sung in Neapolitan (even if De Andrč is native from North of Italy) by a petty little thug who in all ways seeks the favors of the Camorra boss Don Raffač. The rhythm is taken from Italian folk songs and the arrangement (Pagani) is phenomenal. The mix of text and music makes this song a little masterpiece. Vote 8,5/9.

"La domenica delle Salme" (Sunday of the Corpses), by De Andrč and Pagani, half past seven minutes, is an acoustic ballad with a wonderful rhythm guitar. The arrangement is fantastic, thanks to Pagani who plays violin and kazoo (a traditional wind instrument). The Sunday of the Corpses narrates (in Italian) in a hyperbolic, distorted, sometimes surrealistic way a series of social and political and musical events in Italy, citing also Renato Curcio, the ideologue of the Red Brigades, the most famous Italian terrorist group. It is the masterpiece of the album. Vote 9.

Side B opens with "Megu Megun" (Doctor, Big Doctor), lyrics by De Andrč and Fossati (music by De Andrč and Pagani), who starts with this song a collaboration whit Faber which will become total in the next album, "Anime Salve". Fossati is a very gifted musician and arranger, who will not regret Pagani. Sung in Genoese language, it tells the story of the long complaint of a sick imaginary against his doctor; in the end, the man decides not to get out of bed. The music this time has a very strong rhythm, which goes hand in hand with the singing, and the synergy between rhythm, singing and folk arrangement is quite successful. Vote 8+.

"La Nova Gelosia", traditional by an unknown author of XVIII century, is a short song (three minutes), very simply. The title means "The New Shutter", which prevents the man from looking at his beloved from the window. It's a melodic song, sung in Neapolitan, embellished by the viola played by Franco Formenti. Vote 7+.

" 'A Cimma", lyrics by De Andrč and Fossati (more than six minutes), is a folk song, sung in Genoese, that describes poetically the preparation of a typical Ligurian dish, the "Cima alla Genovese", and in the meantime tells a story of popular superstition in the kitchen. It is a good song but it doesn't reach the climax. Vote 7,5.

"Monti di Mola" (Mola Mountains), by De Andrč and Pagani (almost eight minutes) is a folk song, sung in Gallurese, the northern language of the island of Sardinia. In this case, Faber sings the love between a young man and a white donkey who meet one morning on these mountains. The people of the village where he lives, they sings: "Beata idda" (Fortunate Her) and they want to organize their marriage, but it was not possible because (in a surrealistic way) the man and the donkey are relatives close. The folk group of Tazenda, native from Sardinia, sings in the choirs. Good folk song, but the text dominates on the music. Vote 7,5/8.

Le Nuvole is a great album, full of creativity in the arrangements, with a lot of variety of sounds, folk atmospheres, languages, up to be too heterogeneous compared to the album that preceded it, the masterpiece "Creuza de Ma", sung and arranged everything (from De Andrč and Pagani) according to language and music Genoese. Le Nuvole is not exempt from falls of tone, alternating between truly remarkable songs to other more constructed ones, or to some very simple ones, but on the whole it remains an album of great caliber.

Medium Quality of the Songs: 7,96. Vote Album: 8,5. Four stars.

jamesbaldwin | 4/5 |


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