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Album Review

This umpteenth compilation by Gianni Morandi differs from most in that it only focuses on his most recent work, from 2000 to 2011. As such, it obviously cannot be recommended as an introduction to an artist who became a star in the early '60s, and went on to have hits for decades to come. Rinascimento is presumably intended for lifelong Morandi fans who did not bother with his last albums, but it should also be noted that almost every track in this collection appeared in either one of the two popular Grazie a Tutti box sets Morandi released in 2007 and 2008. In fact, Rinascimento is made up of half the tracks from the last disc of each box set, plus two songs from his 2009 cover album Canzoni da Non Perdere, one from 2006's Il Tempo Migliore, and the previously unreleased title track. Make no mistake, the song "Rinascimento" is actually the reason this collection exists. Written by Mogol and Gianni Bella, it was performed by Morandi at the 2011 Sanremo Festival on the special Unity of Italy evening, and rendered even more poignant by the fact that Bella had fallen seriously ill and is now unable to play or sing. The rest of the album is in a similar vein: stately, orchestrated ballads of positive messages of hope and love, often written with or for Morandi by some of Italy's most reputed professional songwriters, such as Pacifico ("Stringimi le Mani"), Tricarico ("Un Altro Mondo"), Eros Ramazzotti ("Non Ti Dimenticherò"), Andrea Mingardi ("Sei Bella Vita"), and Gaetano Curreri ("Al Primo Sguardo"). Everything in this collection is the exact Italian equivalent of adult contemporary, and everything pales in comparison with the album's closer, Morandi's stirring rendition of Jovanotti's sublime "A Te," arguably the finest Italian love song of the 2000s.


Born: 1944 in Monghidoro, Italy

Genre: Pop

Years Active: '60s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Italian pop culture icon Gianni Morandi worked his way up from the bottom of the entertainment industry. Born in 1944, as a child Morandi sold soda and candies at the local movie theater in his native town of Monghidoro to make ends meet. He made his performance debut at age 12, singing in the public square on New Year's Day, 1956. His noticeable musical talent caused his parents to move him from traditional schooling to a school in Bologna, where he studied song and performance with master vocalist...
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Rinascimento, Gianni Morandi
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