Marco Mengoni

Re Matto

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A quick two-and-a-half months after making his EP debut with Dove Si Vola and topping the Italian singles chart with the title track, X Factor winner Marco Mengoni unvieled another seven-track EP, Re Matto. Unlike Dove Si Vola, which was comprised of cover material that Mengoni had originally performed on the third season of X Factor, Re Matto is comprised entirely of original material. Though Mengoni is credited with co-writing each of the songs, he's assisted on all of them by the hitmaking trio Cantieri Musicali (Piero Calabrese, Stella Fabiani, Massimo Calabrese). The clear highlight of the EP is "Credimi Ancora," the symphonic rock song with which Mengoni won third place at the 2010 Sanremo Music Festival. Though unfortunately nothing else on Re Matto measures up to "Credimi Ancora," there's an impressive range of material here and some of it is quite good. The disco-inflected "Fino a Ieri" is a lot of fun, and in contrast to "Credimi Ancora," is refreshingly lightweight in tone. On the other hand, "Questa Notte" and "In Viaggio Verso Me" are so lightweight, they're fluff. The latter is Beatlesque at times, which is always nice, but it's still filler. In fact, about half of Re Matto more or less serves as filler. All of the songs have something going for them, but on only a few of them does Mengoni pull it all together and come up with an all-around impressive song. It's understandable that Sony Music would want to get some new Mengoni product out into the marketplace in the immediate wake of his first-place finish on X Factor and the chart-topping success of "Dove Si Vola." Unfortunately, even with the Cantieri Musicali trio at the helm, there's little substance on this 24-minute EP and too much of the material is half-baked. Moreover, he may be charismatic and likeable, but Mengoni is unimpressive on Re Matto from a vocal standpoint.

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