tue 25/06/2024

Album: Jack Savoretti - Miss Italia | reviews, news & interviews

Album: Jack Savoretti - Miss Italia

Album: Jack Savoretti - Miss Italia

Middle of the road singer embraces family history with an album of Italian pop

That's Italy, not Asbury Park, N.J.

It’s a long way to the middle. Jack Savoretti has worked hard to get there. He’s grafted. His first album, 2007’s Between the Minds, hinted that his musical DNA bestrode early-Seventies Los Angeles, those Topanga Canyon strummers and such, but melded to something much more BBC Radio 2. It took a while for his core audience, the Dermot O’Leary mum-core massive, to find him. A nice fella and a looker, by about five years ago, they had. His last two albums were chart-toppers.

But now he’s challenging the fanbase with an Italian language album. “Challenging” may be the wrong word. Miss Italia is not very challenging.

To give context, Savoretti was born Giovanni, grew up partly around Europe, and is bilingual. His father, who died recently, was Italian, and now the singer pays tribute. But this is not simply a bunch of Jack Savoretti songs tooled up with a new language. Savoretti is clearly familiar with classic Italian pop’s sugary M.O.R. melodramatics (just check out the stringed-up histrionics of “Non Ho Capito Niente”). The album even contains a new version of “Senza Una Donna (Without a Woman)”, performed with its writer Zucchero (who originally reached an international audience duetting on it with Paul Young, a solid heritage reference point for Savoretti’s vibe).

Other guests include Natalie Imbruglia, Mexican singer Carla Morrison, Italian indie act Svegliaginevra and rising Brit singer Delilah Montagu, but Savoretti is front-and-centre. His last album was the polite-dinner-party-funky Europiana, but his usual road is singer-songwriter-with-light-orchestration, Rod Stewart-lite meets Cat Stevens with a dash of 21st century X-Factor emoting. Miss Italia takes elements of all the above and, at its best, as on the twangy kitsch froth of “Bada Bing, Bada Boom”, with Miles Kane, or the catchy strum-pop of “Malinconia”, it has a certain flourish; cleverly crafted fluff.

He has nailed the idiom. It’s an effective pastiche. It’s tricky to see where broader appeal might lie (outside Italy!). His fans may disagree. But already, from my own couple of listens, I can’t recall much about it.

 Below: Listen to "Come Posso Racontare" by Jack Savoretti

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