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Andrea Bocelli – Incanto

Incanto translates from Italian to English as enchantment. This album is Bocelli’s homage to the great Italian love songs of the past couple of centuries, particularly (as Amazon put it), “highlighting the romance and lust of Italy during the 1950’s.” Alrighty then!

For 14 tracks, he’s really belting it out with energy, a lot of the songs sounding like old stage or movie selections. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. It’s just quite a shift from his gentler records, although not all that far off the opera stuff he does… I kept picturing someone’s old Italian grandmother singing along in the kitchen, transported to moments from her own past. I don’t speak Italian, so I can’t tell you precisely what he’s on about, either.

If a track or two came on in the mix, it’d certainly be all good, but I don’t know how much I will listen to this CD all the way through.

An Andrea Bocelli 2-Fer!

I’m doing this up as a 2-fer because I’d likely be saying the same thing for both of these CDs, and thus I don’t want to waste your time. You see, going into these discs:

1) I thought I knew jack shit about Andrea Bocelli’s music in specific.
2) I was pretty sure I strongly disliked all opera singing.

So what the hell was I doing buying these discs? Well, they were $2 each, in perfect shape, and that urge in me to buy things on spec that are well outside my comfort zone is a very strong urge, indeed. I like to challenge myself. And I like to indulge my urges because life is too short to not try new things.

Also, in this case, I proved myself wrong on the two things above.

Romanza (1997)

There was a while there when you couldn’t go anywhere without hearing Con Te Partiro. They used it in the Sopranos, ferchrissakes. So, see? I did know a song he did! There are two versions of it here, the opening track is his solo version, and the closing track is his duet with Sarah Brightman. The rest of the songs are in the same vein – easy listening-type stuff with orchestra, very lush instrumentations at times, and at others quite simple and discrete.

There are lots of other guest stars here, none of the names I recognized, either singers or musicians. Go figure, since I don’t tend to follow this stuff. But it’s Bocelli’s voice that really soars and carries this record. The dude has power.

I quite liked this. I could see it as music for a fancy-pants cocktails and dinner party. Great I got this CD ‘cos we have swanky parties chez Aaron all the time!

Sentimento (2003)

So here he is six years later, and Bocelli is still up to his tricks. That I played this one and Romanza back to back and, therefore, they both blended together in my head is probably unfair to the differences between these efforts that people who know more than I about this stuff could tell you. But I’m a noob on this turf. Give me time and maybe I’ll be better able to talk intelligently about it.

I will say that I best liked the songs on this disc (and that’s most of them) where the violin is a prominent voice of its own alongside his. It brings an old world charm to the songs and, along with Bocelli’s warm tenor, it’s actually quite beautiful. Perfect accompaniment and star in its own right.

In fact, I think I may have enjoyed this one more than Romanza. So there you go.

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