Laura Pausini

Escucha

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One linguistic myth is that anyone who speaks Spanish is automatically fluent in Italian; the languages are quite similar, but similar is by no means the same as identical. However, it is true that anyone who is fluent in Italian has a definite advantage if he or she wants to learn Spanish (and vice versa), which is why Italian pop star Laura Pausini mastered Spanish and is able to record the same album in both languages. The Italian-oriented Resta in Ascolto and its Spanish-language counterpart Escucha are the same album in two different languages, but once you get past the linguistic difference, it's clear that Pausini has provided the same 11 songs with the same tracks and the same arrangements in the same order. Stylistically, there is no difference between the two; in Italian or in Spanish, Pausini's forte is slick adult contemporary, and the influences one hears on Escucha (namely, Celine Dion and Phil Collins) are also evident on Resta in Ascolto. Whether one prefers to hear Pausini in Italian or in Spanish -- or perhaps both -- is a matter of personal preference. Resta in Ascolto will no doubt have the commercial advantage in Milan, Rome, and Venice, while residents of Madrid and Mexico City will tend to favor Escucha -- and in Argentina (which has attracted an abundance of Italian immigrants over the years), it isn't hard to imagine some speakers of the lunfardo dialect (which is Spanish with a strong Italian influence) wanting to acquire both versions. The main prerequisite for liking Resta in Ascolto or Escucha is an appreciation of adult contemporary; Pausini was never a daring, cutting-edge type of artist, but from an adult contemporary perspective, her work is pleasing and above average -- and anyone who has spent a lot of time listening to Celine Dion can't go wrong with either Resta in Ascolto or its español counterpart.

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