Lucio Dalla

Angoli Nel Cielo

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Although Lucio Dalla's career has never regained the heights of his late-'70s work, since the mid-'90s he has successfully managed to steady his creative reins, releasing a series of solid, consistent albums instead of the hodgepodge that characterized much of his '80s productions. Some, such as Canzoni, Luna Matana, and Il Contrario di Me are actually pretty great Dalla records; others, such as Ciao and Lucio, are just about OK. His 2009 release Angoli Nel Cielo is probably not as good as releases in the former category, but is definitely better than those in the latter. In terms of its overall sound, singing, and arrangements, it's very similar to the airy, relaxed feel of 2007's Il Contrario di Me -- alas, with slightly inferior songs. At any rate, Dalla fans will find a lot to take pleasure in here, from the opening ballad "Angoli Nel Cielo" to the typical Dalla single "Puoi Sentirmi?" No doubt, the true highlight of the album is the inspired duet with the great Neapolitan actor Toni Servillo on "Fiuto," a hilarious critique of Naples' waste disposal crisis, clearly modeled after the classic Dalla rant "Disperato Erotico Stomp" (a similar number, "Broadway," falls flat, however). All in all, Angoli Nel Cielo is quintessential -- average -- Dalla. It is up to the listener either to regret the lack of exceptional moments or to enjoy this pleasing collection for what it's worth, further evidence that Dalla has finally learned to age gracefully.

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