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Francesco De Gregori: Pezzi

Album Notes

From its very onset, the rollicking opening " "Vai in Africa, Celestino" and the bluesy " "Numeri da Scaricare," De Gregori seems bent on making Pezzi his most rock-oriented album to date. Indeed, most of Pezzi is a strictly guitar-bass-drums affair over familiar three- or four-chord progressions. Thematically, the album is ostensibly apocalyptic. In this sense, it feels akin to Canzoni d'Amore, albeit on a larger scale. While the 1992 release was mostly concerned with the current state of affairs in Italy (apparently a lost cause at this point, if one is to believe "Tempo Reale"), ten years later De Gregori has gone global -- pretty much in the way the world has, too. War, most obviously in the Middle East, is clearly Pezzi's main preoccupation, particularly in terms of its consequences, such as the proliferation of direct or indirect victims, as well as the increase of immigration fluxes. For all of its electric outbursts -- which can get a bit tiring -- the album improves significantly in its second half, as it slows down and approaches a sonic territory where de Gregori has always sounded more comfortable. Indeed, the best tracks, such as the remorseful "Parole a Memoria" and the hypnotic "La Testa Nel Secchio" seem lifted from his comeback masterpiece, Amore Nel Pomeriggio. Another highlight is the oblique character study "Gambadilegno a Parigi," a piano-led midtempo ballad reminiscent of classic de Gregori. While Pezzi may have been slightly overrated upon its release in Italy (it did extremely well on the charts as well), it is nevertheless a fine album that certainly confirms de Gregori's creative renaissance in the 2000s. ~ Mariano Prunes


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