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Album Review

The solo career of Litfiba's Piero Pelù has oscillated between duplicating his former band sound and branching out into new directions. Fenomeni, his fifth solo album in only eight years, ostensibly belongs to the first category. Most of the record finds Pelù basking in the good old template of drums, bass, and very loud electric guitars. Sure, a lot of those rousing choruses, riffs, and solos are little more than clichés by now, but Pelù's sincerity and inner fire are as undeniable as they are infectious. Lyrics howl out Pelù's dissatisfaction with contemporary society's ills, such as the overwhelming banality of the media, racism, hedonism, and greed. Highlights include first single "Tutti Fenomeni" as well as "Mamma Ma-Donna," "Zombies," and "UFO Su Firenze," all sure to become concert favorites. There is also room for a few ballads (even an electric tango!) dealing with more personal matters, such as his strained relationship with his teenage daughter. The album closes with a new version of "Il Mio Nome é Mai Più," the monster hit Pelù recorded together with Jovanotti and Ligabue back in 1999. The 2008 solo version is a much harder-rocking version than the original, as if to fit the overall tone of Fenomeni. A solid, if unexceptional, record.


Genre: Pop

Years Active: '00s

To put it simply, Piero Pelù is one of the most important Italian rock singers since the '80s and one of the most charismatic personalities to reach the top of the charts. As a romantic new wave bohemian and muscular rocker with Litfiba and then a successful solo artist, Pelù touched many different musical styles, from gothic to arena rock, from gypsy to Mediterranean sounds, without ever losing his strong artistic identity -- thanks also to a voice that is simply unmistakable. Born in Florence...
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Fenomeni, Piero Pelù
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