Franco Battiato

L' Imboscata

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Crossing the boundaries between Peter Gabriel, New Order, and Le Orme is Franco Battiato. His arty, lush work on L'Imboscata is some of the best stuff he has ever released. "Strani Giorni" is a brilliant, driving rocker that floats on a bed of keyboards as Battiato and Nicola Walker Smith trade lines back and forth in both Italian and English. "...Ein Tag aus dem Leben des Kleinen Johannes" might be the oddest thing here, a percussion-heavy pop song driven by rambling, gruff chanting set to the rhythm and hidden behind guitar and lead vocals. And in typical Battiato fashion, he turns right back around with a gorgeous ballad, the sweet "Amata Soliudine." Describing this album is entirely too complicated; it simply has to be heard to be understood. Battiato really does take some of the best elements of other genres and makes them into his own wonderful pop stew. He might remind listeners of other musicians at times, especially Peter Gabriel, but that comparison is as favorable as it gets. Adventurous listeners should really give this a listen. There is a lot of material here that transcends language barriers and provides a beautiful mesh of sounds.

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