Review: Cosimo Erario, ‘C’É’

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C’É shows listeners the reward of broadening musical horizons

Cosimo Erario⎪ C’É ⎪EGP ⎪⎪ US Release Date: February 25, 2013

Listening to pop/rock music in the U.S., do you ever wonder how the same style of music might differ in another country? I certainly do, though until a recent experience, I wouldn’t have called the question a burning one.  That said,  I was given the unique opportunity to partake of an album of Italian pop/rock music performed and written by singer/songwriter Cosimo Erario.  I had never heard Erario, and while I’ve always wanted to speak Italian, particularly given its significance in music terminology, I’m restricted to just that, fluency in Italian music terms.  Listening to the overall impressive album C’É, it certainly further expanded my already eclectic and liberal tastes.

So how does Italian rock/pop sound? Well not incredibly far-fetched (at least on C’É) from ‘guitar-driven’ pop/rock in the states.  Opener “Senza bussare” would sound very much at home on any of my rock playlists, with the lyrics being the only exception of course.  From the onset, “Senza bussare” grabs one’s attention with its rocking guitars, which continue to drive throughout.  As a first impression, “Senza bussare” proves to be an exceptional one.  The follow-up “Ricominicio da te” is no slouch itself, continuing to impress.  Among several notable moments? The gargantuan nature of the bridge and a catchy chorus, regardless if you comprehend the language.  The unification created by the riffs doesn’t hurt either.

Una trilione di pianeti” (translates to “A Trillion Planets”) caps off a brilliant opening trio, characterized by its beautiful melody, particularly on the refrain.  The soloing guitar lines are athletic in sound and ‘right on point’ as you might say.  Perhaps “Dall’universo” (“From The Universe”) brings things down a notch, but the ballad offers both a strong contrast and is ultimately quite thoughtful. One of the best moments? When the vocals harmonize beautifully when the anchoring bass drops out.  “Noi di vento” picks the tempo back up, though doesn’t certainly doesn’t go ‘lightening speed’.  The sound is once more rock-driven, nothing that doesn’t feel comfortable in American pop  circles.  Those drum ‘runs’ are certainly standard fare to my ears, accentuating the rhythmic identity.

Vilcambamba” is among the elites if for no other reason than how distinctly different it is from everything else.  Named after a small village within the valley of Vilcambamba (via Erario’s soundcloud description of the track), the “Valley of Longevity” as it is known certainly fully invests into its Ecuadorian influences.  In addition to its variety of sounds and great vocal production, can you ever go wrong with the ukelele, like ever? “Ci sei ancora” has a tough act to follow, but the more traditional pop cut still has plenty of worthwhile moments.  “Magneticamente” proves to be as ‘magnetic’ as it’s title translates, characterized by its gritty, distorted guitars and a sort of neo-new wave danceable-rock vibe going on.  It’s not quite as ‘poppy’ as new-wave though, given the beefiness of the guitars.  The guitar soloing? Magnificent!

Erario describes standout “Svuota la tua stanza” as ‘Italian pop-soul’.  A correct label? Certainly.  “Svuota la tua stanza” continues to show Erario’s musical versatility and his eclecticism.  “Paura degli aquiloni” confirms that eclecticism, infusing some ‘funk’ into the picture.  “La nostra estate”, a song about a “summer relationship”, contrasts once more opting for pop balladry.  One of its best assets is its pacing, growing gradually in both scope and emotion.  Penultimate cut “Passato prossimo” throws in some reggae, like “Vilcambamba” and “Svuota la tua stanza”, showcasing Erario’s ambitiousness as a musician at its loftiest.  The whistle tune “D’autunno” packs much more of a punch than expected, closing the album with the upmost positivity.

Overall, C’É is a fine album with plenty of superb moments.  Cosimo Erario transcends rock and pop, using the two styles and springboards for deeper creativity and experimentation.  Having experienced the pleasure and musicianship that defines this effort, it only further makes me as a critic, listener, and musicians broaden my own horizons even more.  To Erario, props brother, props.

Favorites: “Senza bussare”; “Ricomincio da te”; “Una trilione di pianeti”; “Vilcambamba”; “Svuota la tua stanza”; “Passato prossimo”

Verdict: ✰✰✰✰

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