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Franco Battiato - Fleurs CD (album) cover


Franco Battiato


Rock Progressivo Italiano

2.42 | 14 ratings

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RIO/Avant/Zeuhl,Neo & Post/Math Teams
2 stars This album starts a series of cover albums in which Battiato revisits and reinterprets classics from his youth with particular attention to the French chansonniers like Richard Anthony and Charles Aznavour and Italian singers strongly influenced by them like Fabrizio de Andre. Fleurs is the French word for "Flowers".

"La Canzone Dell'Amore Perduto" is one of the early successes of Fabrizio de Andre' and it's probably because I'm too used to hear it from him, but I don't think Battiato has added anything to this song, also the arrangements are very similar to the original. I can understand the artist's pleasure in singing songs which may have had a meaning for him, but it's not always the same pleasure for the listeners.

It's not the first time that Ruby Tuesday appears in a Battiato album, the first time it was only a mention at the end of his 80s hit "Cuccuruccuccu Paloma". Now it's a full cover, slowered down, no drums and a voice very different from Mick Jagger with the addition of some operatic vocals and a background singer. A classic rock song transformed into prog. Not bad.

Long before David Gilmour, Battiato started digging into classic French songs of the early 60s. "J'Entends Siffler Le Train" is a song from the mentioned Richard Anthony. It shows a folk influence, not so Briton to remind of Alan Stivell, but there's a bit of celtic. I don't know the original so I can't compare it with this version, but it's not bad and Battiato sings better in French than in English.

"Aria Di Neve" is from another Italian "chansonnier", Sergio Endrigo, known for his connection with Brasilian authors like Vinicious de Moraes, but also known for having been considered one of the most boring Italian singers of the 60s, with a sad expression always stamped on his face. An underestimated artist IMO....but this song is very boring.

"Ed Io Fra Di Voi" has been a big success of Charles Aznavour. He sung the Italian version which I think has sold more copies in Italy than in France. I must admit that I like this song, I had it recorded on a tape when I was a child and I still remember the lyrics.

Again Sergio Endrigo, as author this time. "Te Lo Leggo Negli Occhi" was a hit single of some "Dino", a singer who released some singles in the early 60s. This song even if released in 1964 can still be heard on vintage radios, but it's very dated.

The first true "Chansonnier" arrives with "La Canzone Dei Vecchi Amanti" which is the Italian version of "La chanson des vieux amants" by Jacques Brel. Not a bad song with poetic lyrics, but no prog at all.

"Era De Maggio" is a poetry written in 1885 by a neapolitan poet and put into music by a guy whose name I don't remember. It became a classic of the neapolitan traditional music thanks to Roberto Murolo. Not for this site.

"Che Cosa Resta" is another French song (Que reste-t-il de nos amour). I don't know anything about the original, but I find it very boring, especially after all those sequences of minor chords. The only remarkable thing is the vocal effect on the first part of the song which sounds 30s, like "One More Kiss" from the Blade Runner soundtrack.

"Amore Che Vieni Amore Che Vai" is one of the masterpieces of Fabrizio de Andre'. It's inspired to the French chansonniers as well as the others, it's based on minor chords but you can hear the difference. Differently from the other De Andre' song, on this one Battiato's voice doesn't sound bad (I mean less good than the original).

"Medievale" is a full Battiato song whose lyrics are probably taken from a minor poet of the 13th century. This and the following song are the only valuable thing for who looks for the "normal" Battiato.

"Invito Al Viaggio" (Invite to journey) closes this excursion to France and surroundings. It's a poetry from Charles Baudelaire with music by Battiato and surely the best song of the album. The operatic vocals supporting Battiato's voice and the keyboard layer, the initial speech, belong to the best Battiato. There's a pause after 4 minutes, like a ghost track that is very reminding of the Kraut/Avant period. A track this, which values for the whole album, that means, if you find it on i-tunes or similar, download just this.

There's some good in this album but honestly I find it unecessary and a bit too boring.

octopus-4 | 2/5 |


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