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

CREUZA DE MÄ

Fabrizio De André

 

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4.44 | 34 ratings

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jamesbaldwin
Prog Reviewer
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.

jamesbaldwin | 4/5 |

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