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Andrea Bocelli Passione Review

Album. Released 2013.  

BBC Review

Bocelli’s delivery is irresistible, and these arrangements can be intoxicating.

Adrian Edwards 2013

As winter fastens its icy grip across the country, what better way to pass the time than in the company of Andrea Bocelli? The Italian tenor’s latest album is this sunny collection of songs, born in holiday destinations in Latin America and along the Mediterranean.

Recorded at his home in Tuscany, Bocelli serenades us in six languages, his relaxed manner belying an innate artistry as he moves from the classical style into a popular vein with consummate ease. His delivery is such that we hear his core feeling for each language, which colours his special timbre. 

Opening track Perfidia begins with its less-well-known verse before the tune gets under way, finishing with a seamless transition from tenor voice to falsetto.

Many of these titles, like Anema e core (How Wonderful to Know), are better known by their English titles. They’ll soon be recognised by listeners.   

Bocelli's guest artists include the Canadian singer Nelly Furtado, on Antonio Carlos Jobim's Corcovado, and Jennifer Lopez on Quizàs Quizàs Quizàs (Perhaps, Perhaps, Perhaps). The latter is a catchy Latin song given a standout interpretation, Bocelli cleverly complementing Lopez's sparkling vocal. The arrangement, with a solo violin and whistle, makes for an intoxicating cocktail.

Not everything is quite so recommended, though. Bocelli's version of La Vie En Rose, upon which Edith Piaf's 1940s original has been pasted, is ill-conceived. Not even modern studio techniques can disguise the shortcomings of the original recording.

David Foster's production, with a 63-piece orchestra, is as smooth as Bocelli's delivery. The employment of instrumental colours from saxophone, guitar, flute and accordion across the palette, played by distinguished instrumentalists, adds variety to deft arrangements of some very familiar songs. Many of which have been newly minted to suit Bocelli's vocals.

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