Simone Cristicchi- Vorrei Cantare Come Biagio Antonacci

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Italian patriotism is a tricky issue. Partly because the country is still a barely 150 year old collaboration of 12 separate tributes that don’t trust each other, and partly because its pop cultural portfolio is somewhat less impressive than that of, say, American Samoa.

I’ve fought this battle before, and, yes, maybe part of the blame has to fall on the shoulders of those who fell off the boat straight into the New World and started with the jiggaboo paisano stereotypes for their new neighbours in order to bring in a few dirty pennies. But even so, you have to realise that Patrizio Buanne, Il Divo, and all the other greaseball-in-a-tux crooners are not Italy. Italy, to me, is the Italy of Valentino Rossi, with his Strokes-hair and Bushwick Bill stature. The Italy of La Passeggiata, of not looking where you’re going whilst driving, of Amaretto Di Saronno, arancini di riso, and Amarcord. The Italy of forgotten late 90s rom-com Roseanna’s Grave, and its punchline “Is the Mayor of New York still Italian?” “Who’d want to stop being Italian?” Italy is a country that’s justifiably proud of its past and traditions, and thanks to Berlusconi, completely unsure of its present and future.

So yeah, Simone Cristicchi. He looks perennial comedy nobody Dominic Holland, or perhaps an even more coked-up James Brown (the publishing irritant, not the funky wife-beater). He’s also come out of absolutely fucking nowhere to achieve near-constant rotation on the Italian music channels with this track. A kind of perfect distillation of why meta-pop is a good idea when done properly, and why it’s totally wasted on pop stars whose charisma invoice requires a barrel of red ink to write.

Why is it meta-pop? The title translates as “I Want To Sing Like Biagio Antonacci”. Who he? Biagio Antonacci was one of the star attractions at the Italian Live 8, and a pretty valid argument for ignoring Italian pop music entirely. A man with a passion for over-singing every note possible, and a back catalogue suited solely to providing backing music for a third-rate pizzeria somewhere in, say, Deptford, or Castle Ashby (see also: Tizianno Ferri, who you may remember from that track he did with Jamelia that was so awful they didn’t even bother to release it).

Simone’s not a big fan. He’s a sarky bastard as well, as he spends the entire song talking about how Antonacci is a wonderful artist, and how great it’d be to sign autographs in the same manner as him, to fill stadiums like him, and how he’s a greater hero than Jim Morrisson, Rambo, and Rocky.

Feel that faux-middle eight done in the Antonacci style. Sure, it’s a trick he stole entirely from “My Band” (central and southern Europe loves it some D-12, and, no, I don’t know why), but the boy has enough charisma to pull it off. He has enough chutzpah to ensure what could have come across like a particularly frustrated day’s worth of blogging set to a beat ends up becoming a “Your Woman” for 2005. Jyoti Mishar’s solitary classic is the best reference for this song anyway, being built as it is on a sample of what sounds like a 1940s slapstick comedy. It gives the whole thing a throw-away feel which meshes perfectly with the Head Stylist sophistication it somehow manages to portray as well.

Seriously, Tyler James would kill for a track like this. Perhaps he should grow a white-boy fro and release “I Want To Sing Like James Blunt”.

By Dom Passantino, associate UK editor for Stylus

9 Responses to “Simone Cristicchi- Vorrei Cantare Come Biagio Antonacci”

  1. Anonymous Marco 

    ha ha! fantastic review and comments!

    grazie! ;)

    Marco, Rome, Italy

  2. Anonymous Anonymous 

    Why pick on American Samoa? What did he ever do to you?

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  4. Anonymous Anonymous 

    so you listened biagio antonacci!! Oh mamma mia!!!
    Alessandro, Firenze, Italia

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