Vasco Rossi

Il Mondo Che Vorrei

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Il Mondo Che Vorrei is Vasco Rossi's first studio album in four years. Over the past three decades, from the humble beginnings of 1978's Ma Cosa Vuoi Che Sia una Canzone to the massive success of his late-'80s and early-'90s albums, Vasco Rossi has amassed a more than respectable discography. Most of all, he has secured a firm place in the cultural and collective imagination as Italy's foremost rock star, bar none. Vasco's music or persona has changed little over the years, and with his late work in particular, he has been very reluctant to stray from familiar ground. For Il Mondo Che Vorrei, Vasco relies once more on his trusted team of songwriters/producers: Tullio Ferro, Gaetano Curreri and Guido Elmi, with arrangements by orchestra director Celso Valli. In the man's own words, "it's always the same rock stuff, only played better." It is hard to disagree with Vasco in that respect, considering the album's expensively assembled cast of top Italian and American session musicians who include Slash, Vinnie Colaiuta, Michael Landau, Stef Burns, Dean Parks, Matt Laugh, Lee Sklar, Tony Franklin, Tim Pierce, Paul Bushnell, Rafael Moreira, Max Gelsi, Lele Melotti, Frank Nemola, Luca Bignardi, Paolo Valli, and Massimo Varini. Such a "money is no object" philosophy is amply justified in Vasco's case: Il Mondo Che Vorrei was certified Diamond in Italy in advance sales only, and its promo tour was sold out. Regrettably, inspiration cannot be manufactured quite as easily. While the new songs will not disappoint Vasco's fans, it seems unlikely they will become classics on a par with the best of his repertoire. Il Mondo Che Vorrei sounds exactly like a standard Vasco Rossi album -- but the key word here is "standard." At its best, it offers self-deprecating, fatalist, and slightly misanthropic ballads such as "Colpa del Whisky" or the title track, and at its worst, puerile rockers such as "Gioca con Me." In both cases, a strong sense of déjà vu prevails. Which is not that bad, really, since Vasco's albums are always fun and Il Mondo Che Vorrei comfortably fits that bill. Still, it is not the glorious return to form Vasco's fans had been wishing for for quite some time.

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