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I have no idea what Fabrizio De Andre is singing about, but what a voice!!!

Ever since my friend Emma first introduced me to Fabrizio, I’ve been slowly making my way through his discography. It’s safe to say that I’ve truly enjoyed every album thus far, even if nothing was quite as striking as that first listen to Vol. 1. This record, like the rest, still makes me happy, though. While listening to Fabrizio sing, I have a hard time imagining a more beautiful voice, even if one exists.

And his aesthetic suits me;  in general I’ve been more interested lately in the folk revival throughout Europe in the 60s and 70s. Without any disrespect to American folk heroes (in the past few years I’ve been acquainting myself more, and happily, with early Bob Dylan, Joan Baez, and Joni Mitchell, for example), I’ve really been enjoying the European folk revivalists. It started with my discovery of Scottish singer, Ewan MacColl, whose (weirdly inauthentic) album Scottish Ballads with Peggy Seeger is amazing. I’ve also, suitably, come to love George Brassens since moving to France, and so the jump to Fabrizio was almost a simple matter of time.

One thing that stands out, though, is there’s more production, orchestration, and color to the compositions than we normally get from folk artists of the time. I want to guess that some of what we here is a direct influence of Serge Gainsbourg, for example. Either way, I think Fabrizio De Andre’s records through the late 60s and early 70s are gorgeous. Even the momentary moment of camp is pretty palatable. And one more time, THAT VOICE! Thank you, Italy.

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