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San Remo 2004, Various Artists
Every year the San Remo Festival gathers the most popular or up and coming musical acts in Italy. This annual CD is a great way to stay current with Italian musical trens as well as to familiarize yourself with new artists. You won't find any mandolins here. The richness of the Italian music scene is incredible and, quite frankly, it blows most of Amrica's commercial pop right out the window!

Senza Ali, by Giorgia
I first heard Giorgia in 1999 (Girasole) and had to buy the CD after hearing just one song... she has a voice like sunlight! (How she produces such a big sound from such a tiny body, I'll never know.) Since then I've learned she's my Italian twin, born the exact same day as me! But even if she weren't, she is one of those singer-songwriters whose lyrics and vocal nuances really capture the experience of many women of her/our generation. Giorgia has said the album "Senza Ali" (Without Wings) is about turning 30 and realizing she has no wings of her own, but still wants to fly and so must find some other way! The whole CD echoes the sky theme of the title. Her style is R&B/jazz-flavored pop. The title track has been known to get stuck in my head for days. I also love the ballad "Di sole e d'azzurro," which won 2nd place at last year's Festival di SanRemo. I am an Italian professor, have played this CD for my students along with Girasole and the duet "Vivo per lei" with Andrea Bocelli, and get delighted comments every time! (by reader)

Verderossoblu, Irene Grandi
I discovered this talented cantatrice recently as she was a featured artist in the audio-magazine Acquarello Italiano which showcased her hit "Eccezionale." This tune, the title track and nine others are included in this CD. My particular favorites are "Contatto" and "La tua ragazza sempre." There are really no weak cuts on the CD, though. Irene Grandi combines the lyrical quality of Italian pop with a bit of a harder edge than, say, Laura Pausini. She does a cover of a Sheryl Crow tune, with Italian lyrics and she could probably be justly compared to her. Though you may be assured that the other tunes are all Italian and not covers of foreign artists. If you like current Italian pop or want to sample it, I don't think you can go wrong with this CD. In my opinion the best music from Italy today is from female artists such as Irene Grandi, Giorgia, Paola Turci and Carmen Consoli. (by [email protected])

Viaggiatore Sulla Coda del Tempo, Claudio Baglioni
There he goes again, a great new album from Claudio. For decades this talented Italian singer has been able to perform in a very consistent way through the years. This time he surprises me, what a change from his past albums, but he is as talented as always, so this recent production is a very good choice for those who like and appreciate moderate tempo music. This guy is so talented and so appealing on so many levels. Why Eros Ramozzotti gets so much stateside attention and Claudio goes unknown baffles me. He's the finest romantic Italy has to export these days, a great songscraftsman who can incorporate modern styles without sounding like an old fool.

Girasole, Giorgia
I first discovered Giorgia on a Pavarotti & Friends CD and was instantly captivated by her beautiful voice. She has a wonderful voice, capable of full throated high notes and just beautiful singing. Girasole is a great CD of hers. The sound is great, full of melody and without that "over- produced" sound of today. She tends to stick to pop-rock, R&B sound but it sounds great in Italian. "Girasole" is a great song as well as "Io Come Te" The singing is world class. Her voice is unique, it's hard to compare her to an American singer...I'd say she has the power of Whitney Houston easily...but without the screaming!! She knows how to hit it right on the mark. Giorgia is a gifted vocalist and deserves to have worldwide acclaim and attention. (by [email protected])

Squerez, Luna Pop
On a recent trip to Italy, I had the chance to watch a music show on tv with both international and Italian acts. Luna Pop had one of the best songs, which was Qualcosa di Grande. This is the first track on the CD and still one of my favourite songs. Most of the songs are catchy poptunes, and very enjoyable. Cesare, the lead singer, has a voice of the guy next door. The music is upbeat, beautiful and innovative. It does not sound like an Italian version of the Backstreet Boys, instead, it's mix between the Goo Goo Dolls and Savage Garden. This is a CD to listen to when you're at home doing some things, thinking about your signicant other or in a long drive to another city.

Alex Britti, Alex Britti
This summer I went to Italy for vacation and heard one of his songs on the radio. They're the perfectbalance between rock and folk in that he has intersting lyrics, but also a beat that won't leave you sitting in your chair for very long. (by Laura Pazzaglia) This is the first CD by Alex Britti, an Italian artist. He won the first prize at the Sanremo contest for young singers. I can recommend this CD because it makes you feel glad. When you listen to this music you want to dance. The words are very interesting. I think that his songs deal with his life. I'm sure he tries to make his stories funnier than they actually were. His songs are similar to little love novels without being too mawkish. Sometimes they are funny too. So, listen to Alex Britti's CD and enjoy it! (by a music listner at Check out his website at!

cover EROS, Eros Ramazzotti
The first time I experienced the listening sensation of this CD in its entirety, was at high speed in an Italian sports coupe on the Italian autostrada. Che esperienza! All of my Italian friends love his music. Eros, with his exhilarating music, will have you feeling like you're Italian as fast as an Italian sports coupe can get from 0km to 180km! Tina Turner's accompaniment was extraordinary! Open yourself up to some Italian culture, and add this to your 'raccolta'. (by [email protected]) And let's not forget the duet he also has with Andrea Bocelli that is also on this album! For more information on Eros Ramazzotti be sure to vist

Mangio Troppo Cioccolata, Giorgia
"Mangio Troppo Cioccolata" (or, I eat too much choccolate) is a collection of mostly smoothly sung, poppy ballads. The sound of Giorgia's latest album is what I call jazzy pop, music with tempo and undertones of a piano and horns. There's a surprise on the CD, a song in Spanish and Italian, "Sueño Latino". My favorite song on this album is "Un'ora sola ti vorrei" (or, I'd like you for just one hour) where Giorgia clearly would like just a little more time with a man who has moved on. If you like this album, collect her earlier work Giorgia, Come Thelma & Louise and Strano Il Mio Destino.

Neri per Caso, Neri per Caso
A friend heard this group while travelling in Italy and recommended I buy the CD. They have incredible talent and every song on the CD is excellent. The music is so good it is hard to believe there are no instruments involved in the recording. They can really groove. Your body will move just listening. Buy it today. (by Curt Matlin) Visit their official web site (Only viewable with Microsoft IE) or the un-official fan site.

Il Meglio, Anna Oxa
Anna Oxa shcoked her way onto the Italian music scene when she appeared on stage at the festival of San Remo dressed in men's clothing and singing "Fatelo con Me" (Do it with me), included in this album. In time both her play on abiguity and her assertive yet sweet voice have matured. This album is a collection of songs from the late 70's and early 80's and with the exception of the first song, which is clearly disco, the rest of the ablum is as contemporary today, 20 years later, as it was when it hit the record shelves.
More recent songwork can be heard in Senza Pieta' (1999), Storie. I miei piu' grandi successi (1997), and Anna non si Lascia (1996).

Le Cose Che Vivi, Laura Pausini
I have tracked Laura Pausini for years now and find that this album is her best. Even without knowing the language, the passion and strength of her voice will thrill any listener. I encourage people to try her other albums. I find the Italian version slightly more moving than the Spanish version, as she is more at home in her native language. This CD is a perfect introduction to the world of Italian popular music. (from If you like Laura's music, check out her other albums:Laura, Laura Pausini (1st Album), and Laura Pausini (2nd Album).


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