Carmen Consoli

Due Parole

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The album that introduced her to the world, Carmen Consoli's 1996 debut, Due Parole, shows the singer just coming into her own as an artist. Her voice is as great and expressive as anything that comes on her later records, but the lyrical maturity that is seen on Stato di Necessità, L'Eccezione, or Eva Contro Eva hasn't quite been completely developed yet. Due Parole still has its share of great songs, though, including first single "Amore di Plastica" and the truly fantastic "Quello Che Sento" (two pieces that Consoli has included regularly in concert sets even after she had a greater selection of material from which to choose). "Fino a Quando" is a perfect closer, with minor chords, plaintive vocals, and long brooding electric guitar notes laid over everything, and "Lingua a Sonagli" shows a more aggressive side of the singer as she sneers out the chorus "Perché non parli cossichè potrò stanarti/Lingua a sonagli sputa in bocca ai tuoi fratelli," rolling her "R"s liberally in a way that just doesn't translate into English. Addressing the ideas of longing, confusion, and finding one's self (all common themes for singer/songwriters in their early twenties), the songs are simple yet pretty, and most of them manage to make their points gracefully and articulately (an exception being, perhaps, Consoli's Smashing Pumpkins-inspired "Vorrei Dire," which falls a little short). But the main problem with Due Parole is that not much of it ever seems to really take off. There are a lot of straightforward guitar arpeggios, soft drums, and thoughtful lyrics that hint at greater things (the chorus, for example, in "La Stonato" is wonderfully catchy, but it's much too brief and the verses that surround it are musically unremarkable) but never quite turn into anything. Due Parole isn't disappointing, because Consoli did go on to produce so much more in the future, but it is the work of an artist who is still searching to figure out herself and her music, and so, understandably, there are a few holes. Luckily, they would all get filled in in due time.

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