As its title suggests, Primavera Anticipada, Laura Pausini's first album of new material in four years, is a new chapter in the Italian singer's storied career. For the first time in her career, she had a hand in writing every song on the album (with the exception of "Antes de Irte," which was penned by one of her Italian contemporaries, Gianluca Grignani), and though as usual Alfredo Rapetti (aka Cheope) is credited as her co-writer throughout Primavera Anticipada, the songs indeed reflect aspects of her personal life. For instance, the lead single, "En Cambio No," is informed by the loss of her grandmother, while other songs reflect upon her relationship with guitarist/producer Paola Carta, who also had a large hand in the creation of Primavera Anticipada. Yet while the album marks a step forward in Pausini's career, showcasing a more personalized cycle of songs, in terms of music and style it's highly reminiscent of her past two albums, Escucha (2004) and Yo Canto (2006). Considering Pausini's ever-growing international celebrity, this shouldn't be too surprising; after all, those past two albums were awarded Latin Grammys for Best Pop Vocal Album by a Female Artist in 2005 and 2007 respectively, not to mention other accolades. In terms of music, Primavera Anticipada sounds a lot like Yo Canto. Granted, that album had been a wide-ranging collection of cover songs, so there's little in common between the albums lyrically or stylistically, but the majority of both albums was helmed musically by Paola Carta and Daniel Vuletic. On the other hand, Primavera Anticipada sounds a lot like Escucha in terms of style. Both albums soar early on, kicking off with rock songs ("Mi Perspectiva" on Escucha; "Alzando Nuestros Brazos" on "Primavera Anticipada") before moving on to power ballads ("Víveme"; "En Cambio No") and the title tracks ("Escucha Atento"; "Primavera Anticipada"). The stylistic similarity between Escucha and Primavera Anticipada is striking, resulting in a pleasant sense of déjà vu for anyone hoping for more the of the same (and, conversely, a sense of frustration for anyone hoping for a change in direction). Also like Escucha, which front-loaded its standout tracks (each of its four singles sequenced within the first half of the album), Primavera Anticipada peaks early and grows a little dull toward its close. It's an impressive album nonetheless, formulaic as it may be (and as canned as the James Blunt duet may be -- though thankfully there's an alternate version sans the British singer/songwriter, who sings in English). Pausini herself shines throughout the album, her voice as strong as ever, which should no doubt please her fans, as should her larger hand in the songwriting process.
AllMusic Review by Jason Birchmeier