Various Artists

Putumayo Presents: Italian Café

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    7
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AllMusic Review by

This is a charming, if ultimately fairly inconsequential, collection of recordings from 1950s and 1960s Italy, along with a handful of songs by a few modern artists whose stylistic roots go back to the postwar era as well. The overall sound may come across as a bit kitschy to American ears -- there are lots of accordions and crooning, emotive vocals -- but if you spend some time with these recordings most of them will grow on you. Highlights include the quirky Vinicio Capossela's "Che Cossè l'Amor," Quadro Nuevo's jazzy instrumental "Tu Vuo' Fa' l'Americano," and Quartetto Cetra's slightly cute but really very engaging "Un Bacio a Mezzanotte." On the slightly less compelling side are Gianmaria Testa's contributions, the willfully goofy "Dentro al Cinema" and the self-consciously intense (and ultimately self-parodying) "La Traiettorie delle Mongolfiere," but the high points outweigh the low ones on this ultimately charming collection. Recommended.

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