Giusy Ferreri


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One of the greatest Italian revelations of 2008, X Factor runner-up Giusy Ferreri scored one of the year's most successful releases with her full-length debut, Gaetana, an album comprised of songs written by professional tunesmiths Tiziano Ferro, Roberto Casalino, and Linda Perry. There was also a small sample of songs on Gaetana written by Ferreri herself, but with the exception of "Il Party," an old song from 2005, they weren't particularly impressive and it remained to be seen what she would do on her second album: once again turn to professional hitmakers or pen more material of her own. Fotografie, the follow-up to Gaetana, is something else entirely, an album of covers that allows the powerhouse vocalist to experiment with different styles. Curiously, only five of the 11 songs she covers are Italian: "Ciao Amore Ciao" (Luigi Tenco), "Il Mare Verticale" (Paolo Benvegnù), "Ma il Cielo è Sempre Più Blu" (Rino Gaetano), "Estate" (Bruno Martino), and "Con una Rosa" (Vinicio Capossela). They're good performances in general and great in the case of "Ma il Cielo è Sempre Più Blu," the wisely chosen smash hit lead single. The other half-dozen songs on Fotografie are a mixed bag, all except one adapted to Italian by Ferro: "La Magia è la Mia Amante" (Nick Drake, English), "Come Pensi Possa Amarti" (Rosario Flores, Spanish), "E di Amare Te" (Charles Aznavour, French; adapted by Iva Zanicchi), "Piccolo Villaggio" (Marisa Monte, Brazilian), "Bésame Mucho" (Consuelo Velázquez, Mexican), and "Yesterdays" (Jerome Kern, American). Some of these turn out well, in particular the version of "Como Quieres Que Te Quiera" by Flores; others less so, the version of "Vilarejo" by Monte and, worst of all, the dreadful rendition of "Yesterdays." Nevertheless, it's interesting to hear Ferreri experiment with different styles under the helm of Italian hitmaker Michele Canova Iorfida, who produced Gaetana as well as recent albums by Ferro and Eros Ramazzotti. The conclusion one draws from Fotografie, unfortunately, is that Ferreri is a talented young vocalist adrift with no particular style of her own. It's telling that she does a covers album now. It would have been more logical to do an album of covers in the immediate aftermath of X Factor, when she was truly directionless, rather than now, after she had so much success with Gaetana. In effect, she's regressing as an artist, returning to the amateur days of X Factor when she should be building upon the foundation of Gaetana, a far better album than Fotografie, which hopefully is just a stopgap effort intended to cash in on the holiday shopping season and tide fans over until Ferreri is ready to unveil a more ambitious effort as her third album.

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