Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Eros Ramazzotti - Bambino nel Tempo

Hearing a factoid on the order that Bananrama is the most popular British girl group of all time or that Eros Ramazzotti is the most popular Italian pop singer of all time makes me do a double take. Granted, he's from a country where Puccini and Verdi sell better than a lot of pop pap.

Now in his mid-40s, his salt and pepper locks and fondness for velvet and brocade blazers only make him more appealing. He obviously opted for reaching the enormous Latin American market instead of the U.S. which he's never conquered despite being produced by Trevor Horn and duets with duets with Tina Turner (passable, but uninspired), Cher (cheesy but passable song, but he is at his most munchable in their video), onetime girl friend Patsy Kinset (whatever), Pavarotti (inevitable) Andrea Bocelli (inevitable but unfortunate), and Anastacia (actually not half bad)

He is possibly the one singer more nasal than Rufus Wainwright, but when he's on target as with this tune, he deserves all the hoopla afforded him. As with most of his albums, this one was also released in Spanish which was pretty decent, but it just doesn't have the same sweep as the Italian original. It really manages the capture the sadness and joy of being alone on an adventure as a boy or as a man in his 40s. Towards the final 3/4s of this clip when he pulls out the harmonica while contemplating the heavens, it really takes on the level of powerful pop poetry that hasn't been seen in top 40 music in this country since at least 1980 or so. The lyric reaches for thoughts a bit higher than what is usually broadcast on local airwaves:

"At this time of doubt/I can't keep fooling myself/even with so much hope/I keep a bit of the naivety/I long to keep going like I did then/always asking why...

....loneliness keeps me company/while I'm breathing salty air/this place seemed magical in my memory/like a young boy I'm looking for an answer I don't have/just as I did long ago/It makes no difference/It just grows more stunning with the passage of time..."

Though not exactly profound poetry, it's a sharp contrast to the drivel of some 45+ shrill like Fergie braying about "all that junk in my trunk" on this side of the pond.

The vibe of this song really makes me think of the film The Best of Youth, another Italian puffy pop pastry, that pulls at me with a mix of sadness, longing and joy. I really love the idea of the best of youth, optimism, a lack of cynicism, and contentment with solitude and salty summer breezes making life joyful with all of its pain and unbearable lightness.

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At 7:07 AM, Blogger Two Write Hands said...

Lee Greenwood can eat his heart out.


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