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Fabrizio De André - Creuza De Mä CD (album) cover


Fabrizio De André

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5 stars 'Crêuza de mä', and De André became Arabic.

'Creuza De Ma' is an album of De André published in 1984 written with Mauro Pagani and sung in Genoan dialect. This album represent the peak of De André/ Pagani collaboration and one of the greatest examples of World Music. Only 7 songs but 7 pieces of magic and feelings.

The music is a mix between Rock, Folk and Arabian music, extreme mediterranean and it is hot like the sun in the Mediterranean maquis. We have spent listening to a De Andrè so hot. But never have we heard a De André so natural. Certainly Mauro Pagani have great merit in this situation with his Arabic influences (not only in writing process). So 'Creuza De Ma' is a great example of Arabic Folk, sung in Genoan dialect.

Certainly 'Creuza De Ma' is not a difficult album, sure song for song it is a great example of description but for me the final result is the summary of all the songs and for this fact I will not describe 'Creuza De Ma' song for song.

In this case you forget Mauro Pagani's '2004 Creuza De Ma' (that have also other songs) but you think 'Creuza De Ma' as pure Faber album. Hmm... 'Creuza De Ma' is a pure De André album because it is Folk and present the typical De André musical experience but with Pagani's Arabic touch. I can not commit itself about the lyrics, since I do not know Genoan dialect but if Area had had a thorough useless technical preparation they have created 'Creuza De Ma'!

More of the songs in 'Creuza De Ma' have Dark atmospheres because written in reflective manner (helped by arabic melodies) and only 'A Dumenga' is a pure De André song (because without arabic elements). 'Creuza De Ma' is not, however, a dark and closed album (in this direction describe the version of Pagani). The guitar and the voice dominate this album that have only percussions as other instruments in first plan because keyboards are good only for a sound support.

Sure 'Creuza De Ma' is more close to a pure example of World Music that close to RPI. But if you love Italy and its Prog 'Creuza De Ma' is a pure experience with this magical music.

Report this review (#231130)
Posted Wednesday, August 12, 2009 | Review Permalink
RIO/Avant/Zeuhl,Neo & Post/Math Teams
5 stars I remember comments from Peter Gabriel (actually very interested in World Music) and from David Byrne saying that this was the best album of the year. Effectively it sounds a lot "world" also because of the dialect in which the songs are written and in the use of ethnic instruments also from middle-East.

"Creuza De Ma'" (Road to the Sea) is mainly a description of the little world of his youthness: Genoa, its harbour and the surroundings. It describes places, people and situations with a base of major chords with a middle eastern flavor.

This contamination between the major chords of the Italian tradition and the middle-eastern instruments is stronger on "Jamin-A" This is the name of an Arabic prostitute who "works" in the harbour as a mariner tells. The music is strongly Middle-eastern influenced and there's also a very good "Oud" solo. I think that any prog fan can like this song.

"Sidun" is a very dramatic track. "Sidun" is an ancient city, one of the most important of Lebanon. The city was attacked by the troops sent by Sharon in 1982 and the lyrics are the lament of a father who has seen his son killed by a tank and carries his devastated body. Dark, tragic and moving. "In this big burning sky a so little death"

"Sinan Capudan Pascia'" is a character taken from the history. It's a Genoan seaman captured by Turks and later converted to Isalm. He then became a "Grand Vizir". About his conversion he said "I have only changed the God to blaspheme". This song has less Arabic elements.

"A Pittima" was the debts collector. Genoan citizens had the possibility, during the Renaissance, to call and send him to the debtors. A nasty guy, isn't it? Hated just a little less than am executor. The lyrics are a dialog (for what I can understand) between he and a debtor. One thing about Genoan language, it sounds incredibly similar to Portuguese, and this surely adds a "World" flavor. The song is in the mood of the opener. Major chords and a slow hypnotic rhythm.

"A Dumenega" (The Sunday) is aboout an ancient use: The maitresses of Brothels were used to make a sort of procession to show their prostitutes. A sort of advertising....with the people commenting and joking at their passage. The language is maybe a bit raw but with Fabrizio de Andre also this is poetry. The Arabian influence is eveident in the instrumental coda in which the guitar sounds quite Spanish.

The closer is "Da A Me Riva" (from my seaside) is about the period of his life in Sardinia that's the opposite seaside to Genoa. A nostalgic song like a lullaby, very appropriate as closer.

What else? I agree with Gabriel and Byrne. This is a great album even if you don't understand the language. I had to look to the official artist's website in order to understand what the songs are about, and I'm Italian! The songs are excellent from a musical point of view and knowing what the lyrics are about can improve the listening pleasure.

A masterpiece even if just prog-related.

Report this review (#509294)
Posted Friday, August 26, 2011 | Review Permalink
4 stars Maybe the first Italian record of "World music", Creuza de Ma is considered by many the masterpiece of Fabrizio De Andre, and artists like Peter Gabriel and David Byrne love it. In this Lp De Andre sings in Genoese dialect, a particular Italian language very different from Italian (I'm Italian and I dont understand a lot of words) with a sound similar to arab, and the arrangements (thanks to Mauro Pagani, ex PFM) are full of mediterraneum ethnic instruments taken also from middle-East.

"Creuza De Ma'" (Road to the Sea) is the first song, a melodic ballad where the artist describe his hometown, Genoa, a city full of small streets that rides along the coastline and Genoa is a city long and narrow, it is in front the sea and it has the mountains behind. De Andre talks about people, food, flavors. Very ethnic music. Rating 7,/8.

Through the noises of the crowd, the first song is mixed with the second, which has a much more sustained and arabesque rhythm. Here you can see the great work of the multi-instrumentalist Mauro Pagani, who in addition to playing the strings performs in the solos with wind ethnic instruments throughout the album (flute, mandola, mandolin, violin, viola, oud, saz, bouzouki). It's a very special song, it's world music, and the lyrics tell of a prostitute with an Arabic name, "Jamin-A", able to drive men crazy, and alternates raw moments with poetic moments. Rating 8.

Through sound effects, Pagani's solo that concludes the second song is mixed with words and war noises that introduce us to the masterpiece of the record, "Sidun", name of a city situated in Lebanon. This piece is introduced by an acoustic mandola or mandolin edits. De Andre sings a landscape of war where a father has lost a child and here the pathos rises to very high levels, condensed only in the voice and sound of the instrument played by Pagani, clear, clean and spooky. Then near to the end it starts an ethnic nenia with oriental percussion that looks like a heartbroken but not sad funeral song. We're at very high levels. Rating 9.

Side A is like a suite because it contains three songs in connection. Rating side A: 8,5/9

Side B starts with an historic character, "Sinan Capudan Pascia'" is a character taken from the history of Genoa. Sinan was captured by Turks and later converted to Isalm. In this songs there is more storytelling, here De Andre recalls his favourite troubadors: Georges Brassens. The music is more accompaniment but has a nice rhythm. Rating 8.

"A Pittima" talks about debts. It is the album's slow song, a reflective, introverted song, which contains noises reminiscent of the waves of the sea. Fine arrangement in the background, almost whispered and short song (three minutes). Vote 7.5/8.

Soon after, to get the album back on its pace, the Lp's most cheerful and exuberant song starts ("A Dumenega" (The Sunday)), with a strong rhythm, and it reminds more of Italian folk and the lyrics speak again of neighborhoods from slums, with prostitution. But the instrumental ending is great and thanks to Franco Mussida who plays classical guitar and electric mandolin, we can listen to a very good Spanish guitar solo. Rating 8+.

The closer is "Da A Me Riva" (From my seaside), another slow song, good but minor piece. Rating 7+.

The second side, with songs shorter but homogeneous as in the first, it lacks of an absolute masterpiece. Side B. Rating: 8,5.

The album is appreciated more than for the individual tracks for the construction of the ensemble, really remarkable for ideation, songwriters, melodies and arrangements. A great pleasure.

A little masterpiece. Rating 8,5/9. Four and a half stars.

Report this review (#2340153)
Posted Wednesday, March 4, 2020 | Review Permalink

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