Daniele Silvestri


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A double-CD, 35-track compilation, Monetine is a terrific compendium of the brilliant work of Daniele Silvestri. Together with Jovanotti, Silvestri may very well be the best exponent of "the new Italian song," a term coined in the early '90s to designate those young songwriters who allied similar convictions to those of the cantautori of the '70s, with an interest in new global musical trends such as hip-hop, dub, reggae, and Latin rhythms. Silvestri's many followers, however, may rightly feel a little put off by this release. After all, disc one virtually replicates the track list of Silvestri's first excellent greatest-hits package, 2001's Occhi da Orientale, and his 2004 double live album Livre Trânsito again features the bulk of what is included here. In other words, Monetine is the third release in seven years of essentially the same material. Granted, a lot of effort has been put to attenuate this cold fact, namely the inclusion of three rare tracks and four new versions of old songs. The previously unavailable songs are a cover of Paolo Conte's classic "Una Giornata al Mare" (a topic that Silvestri had previously revisited in his own extraordinary "Mi Ricordi il Mare," also present in this collection), "Il Mondo Stretto in una Mano" (from the film Questa Notte è Ancora Nostra), and "Senza Far Rumore." All three are quite beautiful, if inessential, additions to Silvestri's repertoire. As stated, Monetine's first disc covers the same ground as the previous compilation, the period 1994-1999 represented by Silvestri's first four studio albums, Daniele Silvestri, Prima di Essere un Uomo, Il Dado, and Sig. Dapatas. Disc two offers two of the three new tracks previously available on Occhi da Orientale, its title track and the fantastic "Testardo," the three rarities mentioned, and a selection from Silvestri's last, and best, two albums, 2002's Unò-Dué and 2007's Il Latitante, including the memorable hits "Salirò" and "La Paranza." In short, for those who already own most of Silvestri's excellent albums, or even only Unò-Dué and Il Latitante, as well as the first single-disc hits collection, this new double set is redundant. However, it should also be stated that, as compilations go, Monetine is actually faultless: better still than an ideal introduction, it offers a comprehensive look at a major talent. Indeed, this release (and/or any of the last two Silvestri albums) is highly recommended to anyone interested in contemporary Italian music.

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