Tiziano Ferro rose to international chart-topping success with an youthful mix of contemporary R&B and Latin pop, a style he moves away from on his fourth album, Alla Mia Età, whose primary highlights are power ballads. One of Italy's biggest stars of the new millennium, Ferro experienced success at a young age, topping the national charts with his debut album, Rosso Relativo (2001), and its smash hit single, "Perdono," when he was just 21 years old. That first album, the most straighforward R&B effort of Ferro's career to date, remains a favorite among many fans because of its spryness and vigor. The follow-up albums 111 Centoundici (2003) and Nessuno è Solo (2006), and their respective smash hit singles "Xverso" and "Stop! Dimentica," more or less followed in the same direction as Rosso Relativo, albeit with growing ambitions and an increasingly greater mix of Latin pop. Alla Mia Età once again finds Ferro mixing contemporary R&B with Latin pop; however, it's the first of his albums where the pop overtakes the R&B by a clear margin. The primary highlights of Alla Mia Età are all ballads, starting with the majestic title track, which is sequenced after the atmospheric album-opener, "La Tua Vita Non Passerà." Besides the title track, the other primary highlights of Alla Mia Età are "Il Regalo Più Grande," an emotionally moving story of love as the greatest gift in the world; "La Paura Non Esiste," a Laura Pausini co-write that befits her soaring power ballad style; and "Scivoli di Nuovo," another powerhouse ballad that begins sparely with piano and quickly builds to towering heights. Alla Mia Età isn't all ballads. There are quite a few uptempo songs. Sequenced third and fourth, between the aforementioned standout ballads "Alla Mia Età" and "Il Regalo Più Grande," are a couple of good songs with kick. The first, "Il Sole Esiste Per Tutti," is driven by guitar, strings, and a propulsive rhythm track, while the second, "Indietro," boasts a big thumping beat. The album's most danceable moment, "Per un po' Sparirò," is sequenced second to last, bringing the album to an energetic close. Alla Mia Età, whose title translates in English to "At My Age", could be described as a turn toward maturity by Ferro, who was on the verge of turning 30 years old at the time of the album's release. The emphasis on ballads, as excellent as several of them are, will surely disappoint fans hoping for a return to the style of Rosso Relativo. On the other hand, those who have welcomed Ferro's growing ambitions as a singer/songwriter of adult-oriented Latin pop should find plenty to enjoy on Alla Mia Età, another impressive effort by one of Italy's greatest pop music talents of the decade.
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AllMusic Review by Jason Birchmeier
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