Laura Pausini

Inédito

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Despite duets with the likes of James Blunt, Michael Bublé, and Ray Charles, songs written by Madonna and Phil Collins, and 2002's crossover attempt From the Inside, Italy's premier pop diva, Laura Pausini, has yet to make any impact with English-speaking audiences. Her 11th studio album, Inedito, which like her previous three releases has been recorded in both her native tongue and Spanish, is unlikely to change matters, but there's still plenty here that would quite neatly fit onto the Radio 2 playlist if fans of MOR pop/rock could overcome the language barrier. Lead single "Benvenuto," a number one in her homeland, is one of the most anthemic tracks she's put her name to thanks to its clattering drums and soaring melodic chorus; the pan pipe-led "Non Ho Mai Smesso," the grandiose string-soaked "Come Vivi Senza Me," and the Ivano Fossati collaboration "Troppo Tempo" all fill the Celine Dion-shaped hole that's formed since the Canadian's Vegas residency with aplomb; while the harmonica-driven nostalgic duet with younger sister Silvia on "Nel Primo Sguardo" and the emotive tribute to her mother, "Tutto Non Fa Te," further pursue the personal themes that made predecessor Primavera in Anticipo such a compelling listen. However, despite Pausini's charismatic and impassioned tones, the constant barrage of big-voiced power ballads and drive-time anthems begins to feel a little repetitive well before the sweeping orchestral finale, "Tu Dico Ciao," draws to a close, and with convincing attempts at Evanescence-esque pop-metal ("Inedito") and Snow Patrol-inspired indie rock ("Ognuno Ha la Sua Matita"), you do wish that she'd have the confidence to stray outside her slightly bland comfort zone more often.

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