Alessandro Safina

Alessandro Safina [Release 1]

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The charismatic opera singer relies on a sweeping collection of amazingly passionate tunes to bring out his emotional depth, which is convincing and exciting even if you must know Italian to understand (thankfully the liner notes feature translations!). Unlike a lot of genre performers who seem removed from the general audience, Safina tries to find a happy medium between that and pop. The opening track "Only You (Luna)" features a cool, methodical drum groove and sweeping orchestral atmospheres, plus a haunting female vocal echoing in English in certain spots. As the tune builds in intensity, the groove kicks up, creating a little R&B flavor. "Insieme A Te (Together With You)" is a gentle ballad featuring a slower groove but still a bit of a pop sheen. Most of the tunes follow this pattern, his powerful voice caressed by the dramatic David Foster-like production of Romano Musammara. All good since it makes him more palatable to pop fans who would probably just assume he's singing about love. The disc also features two bonus instrumental tracks, "Ehyeh" (which blends atmosphere with a loping flamenco guitar riff) and "Diva Mea," whose new agey piano musings are accompanied by the occasional vocal touches of the same voice which haunts the opening track.

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