Paolo Conte

Una Faccia in Prestito

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Una Faccia in Prestito finds Paolo Conte approaching sixty, and much at ease in his hard-earned role of venerable, ultra cool, international cult figure. All of the elements that made Conte's music and persona so unique are on display here, perhaps even in an ostentatious manner. Una Faccia in Prestito presents Conte at his most mannerist, as he nonchalantly revises or combines genres with astonishing musical facility. The aesthetic of pastiche, always important in Conte's oeuvre, becomes the very essence of this album, both musically and lyrically. Indeed, in the same way that Conte amalgamates swing, bolero, paso doble, jig, milonga, or German music hall, his texts often become a hybrid of various European languages, including Italian, French, English, Spanish, Portuguese, and even his own native dialect of the Asti region. Conte employs the same crew that accompanied him since the early 1990s (Jino Touche, Daniele Di Gregorio, Massimo Pitzianti), and the arrangements and performances are customarily faultless. Still, at 17 tracks in under one hour, (the longest single disc of Conte's career), Una Faccia in Prestito can become a bit tiring in all of its flamboyance. "Danson Metropoli," for instance, is a hilarious musical and verbal portrait of a modern capital's chaotic living experience. But when a similar approach is employed for "Vita da Sosia," it feels like one song too many. Nevertheless, it should also be said that the best moments, such as "Le Tue Parole per Me," "Un Fachiro al Cinema," or "Architetture Lontane" are nothing but new Conte standards.

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