Titanic (Ita)


aec.imt1160868.2 6/3/14 New
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    Titanic (Ita)

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Review Text Francesco De Gregori entered the '80s at the peak of his powers with Titanic. With the exception of two amiable but slight rockers of the kind that would often clutter his productions, every track on this record is nothing less than stellar. De Gregori's songwriting is so exceptional that sometimes one neglects how beautiful some of his arrangements and melodies can be. In this sense, Titanic is one of his most musically accomplished sets, evenly divided between majestic piano ballads (the magnificent closer "San Lorenzo") and acoustic guitar-driven numbers (the lovely "Caterina"), often enhanced by delicate violin embellishments. Titanic is also the closest De Gregori would get to a concept album, its centerpiece being a three-song suite about life aboard the Titanic as seen from unconventional perspectives, none suspecting the tragedy that lies ahead. The title track (which anticipates Fellini's film E la Nave Va) and "I Muscoli del Capitano" would become hits, but it is actually the lesser-known "L'Abbigliamento di un Fuochista" that would break your heart. Told from the point of view of a poor, illiterate kid who left his home to work in the ship's coal engines, this song is as moving as its arrangement is gorgeous (De Gregori would reprise this song together with Giovanna Marini for their 2002 collection of folk and workers' songs, Il Fischio del Vapore). The best song of the album, however, remains "La Leva Calcistica della Classe '68," one of De Gregori's truly greatest and most beloved compositions. The story of a 12-year-old's first steps into the world of pre-professional football, it also managed to have a political resonance for an entire generation by virtue of the single mention of the magic year 1968 in its title. One of De Gregori's indisputable masterpieces, Titanic was voted best Italian album of the period 1975-2005 in a poll conducted by Italy's biggest newspaper, Il Corriere della Sera. ~ Mariano Prunes

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