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Ovunque Proteggi

Vinicio Capossela

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Album Review

It would be nearly impossible to succinctly describe what Vinicio Capossela does musically on his album Ovunque Proteggi. It starts out intensely, almost menacingly so, and ends with a gentle, pretty love song, but the path to it — Eastern-influenced chants to patriotic marches to waltzes to sad jazzy piano numbers to bolero — somehow seems to follow a natural progression, or at least trick listeners into believing that's the case. Perhaps this is because Capossela is such a gifted lyricist, and consistently so, that it's easy to focus on his words (or the sound of his voice) instead of the music behind it. Not that the instruments aren't important: Capossela and his crew (which includes Tom Waits — to whom comparisons can certainly be made — associate Marc Ribot and former Area bassist Ares Tavolazzi) play purposeful and interesting notes and rhythms, but they are used to accent and augment the power of the singer instead of stand out on their own. The lyrics, which are intricate and detailed, often allude to Biblical scripture, but also to Greek myth, Italian, British, and American literature, Russian historical figures, and jazz standards; he's willing to explore almost any Western cultural tradition. "Brucia Troia" (brucia translating to "burn," while Troia refers to ancient Troy but also is a vulgar synonym for "whore") is one of the most aggressive songs on the album, the tale of a city and a man betrayed ("burn," Capossela growls, "like I burn for you"), but "Medusa Cha Cha Cha" is sung from the perspective of the goddess, who, perhaps a bit duplicitously, wishes for someone who won't turn to stone under her gaze. Ovunque Proteggi is part love and hate and anger and lust, imparting the wisdom of the immortals (Melville, Pasolini, and Homer, besides the array of gods and God) to all the rest of us. Hardly an easy task, but Capossela keeps the album accessible through his great sense of arrangement and lyrical phrasing, making it a challenging, but ultimately rewarding experience.

Customer Reviews

Multo bene!

The German-born Vinicio Capossela strikes gold again with his unique style melding traditional Italian folk with Tom Wait's musical sensibility. Starting off strong with the somewhat eerie "Non trattare," Vinicio moves onto the truly strange in "Brucia troia," electronic beats in "Moska valza," and his best tune since the infamous "Maraja," - "L'uomo vivo (inno al gioia)" Staying close to the roots of Italian folk, Vinicio evokes music of yore with "Pena de l'Alma." This Vinicio release will not disappoint his long-time fans and new listeners. Ciao bella.

Boy do I have a story about this artist.......

I was in Venice and picked up a "stragler" who needed to get back to Munich and I said why not, I am going that way. During the drive through the italian gorgeous Alps, the Dolomites, he puts in a CD. I loved the music and kept asking him who it was....he spoke little english. We spent a day loving, digging this very cool singer in my rented car. It was truely wonderful and my guest pulled out his guitar several times to sing the songs of Vinicio.......his way. Lovely. Anywho, once I got back home to Boston I have to play the video of our drive (I video tape my travels, yes, while driving) to figure out the artists name. I settled on Vinicio Capossela......ordered a few of his CD's and have never looked back. Being an very patriotic American....we are short on this kind of talent. Anything this man sings will always be first in my library. This guy knows how to interpret music and send it off with a zinger. Get him!

crosses the language barrier

I went to Italy last year and made friends with some of the natives..one of them burned me a cd of Vinicio (L'indespensible). Everytime I listen to it, I'm brought back to my unforgettable summer in Italy. Even though I am a beginner at the Italian language, I can totally depict the emotion Vinicio gets across with his music. I heard his lyrics are amazing, but until I learn enough Italian to understand them, I'll just be happy with his musical talent.

Biography

Born: December 14, 1964 in Hanover, Germany

Genre: Pop

Years Active: '90s, '00s

Perhaps best likened to an Italian Tom Waits, singer/songwriter Vinicio Capossela channeled influences spanning from two-fisted novelist John Fante to poet and philosopher Samuel Taylor Coleridge to forge an experimental, profoundly literary approach to popular music quite unlike anything else in the contemporary European sphere. Born in Hannover, Germany, on December 14, 1965, Capossela came of age in the underground clubs of Italy's Emilia-Romagna region. A protégé of folkie Francisco Guccini,...
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Ovunque Proteggi, Vinicio Capossela
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