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Vivo sospesa

Nathalie

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Album Review

Inspired by the likes of PJ Harvey, Jeff Buckley, and Fiona Apple, it's clear from the outset that Nathalie Giannitrapani — previously the former frontwoman of nu metal outfit Damage Done and a duet partner of Skunk Anansie's Skin in the final of the 2010 fourth series of Italy's The X Factor — isn't your average talent show winner. Indeed, having emerged victorious at the relatively senior age of 31, the Rome singer/songwriter has the benefit of much more experience than most fledgling pop stars, ensuring that her debut album, Vivo Sospesa, arrives with a maturity and confidence that's absent from many of her counterparts' first offerings. Produced by Lucio Fabbri and Francesco Tosoni, the grungy basslines and shimmering shoegazing hooks of opener "Paura del Buio," the chiming Coldplay-esque epic title track (also her seventh-placed entry at the 2011 Sanremo Festival), and the theatrical pop/rock of "Intimate Colours" (one of two English-language tracks featured here) showcase an indie sensibility worlds away from her manufactured TV rise to fame, while the Tori Amos-inspired torch song "Nello Specchio" and the eerie melancholy of "Cuore Calmo," the latter of which reveals a cathartic primal quality to her powerful set of pipes, show she's just as convincing when tackling more introspective material. Unfortunately, the second half of the record fails to live up to the promise of the first, with only the plodding alt-rock of "Mucchi di Gente" providing any respite from the unremarkable stream of dramatic string-soaked power ballads that become both more bombastic and equally more dreary as the album goes on. Nevertheless, while it may stagger toward a rather deflated end, Vivo Sospesa contains enough potential to suggest that Nathalie could become one of The X Factor's most authentic and credible musicians. ~ Jon O'Brien, Rovi

Vivo sospesa, Nathalie
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