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Franco Battiato - Fleurs 2

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Fleurs 2

Franco Battiato

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Franco Battiato has stated that Fleurs 2 will be the last installment of his non-sequential cover album trilogy, after 1999's Fleurs and 2001's Fleurs 3. It might as well be so, since what started as an intimate tribute is beginning to lose its charm. Many in Italy were extremely critical of Fleurs 2, deeming it a trifle unworthy of an artist of Battiato's stature -- not to mention an opportunistic commercial venture, released just in time for the holiday season. True, the Fleurs series is worlds apart from Battiato's typically demanding (if not downright hermetic) music. Once again, Battiato chooses a list of his personal favorite Italian, French, and English pop songs -- some well known, some obscure -- and sets them to delicate chamber music arrangements. The results are eminently tasteful, and hardly innovative. Still, what seems to hurt this record more for Battiato fans is the law of diminishing returns: he has been there before, and done it better. On the other hand, those unfamiliar with his previous work may find Fleurs 2 a rather exquisitely assembled collection -- with a few flagrant duds, granted, but also with several deeply moving moments. For one thing, Fleurs 2 features five stellar duets with an A-list of international vocalists: Carmen Consoli, Antony, Anne Ducros, Sepideh Raissadat, and Juri Camisasca. English-speaking audiences may be naturally curious about hearing Antony harmonize with Battiato in an Italian version of the rare B-side "Frankenstein," here renamed "Del Suo Veloce Volo" with completely changed lyrics -- and still as haunting as every Antony and the Johnsons song inevitably is. Fleurs 2's true masterpiece, however, is the opening track, "Tutto l'Universo Obbedisce All'amore," sung with Carmen Consoli. Not coincidentally, this humbly majestic love song is the only new Battiato original. There is no question that Battiato is a better composer than performer. It is precisely because of this that some of his choices seem rather inappropriate, such as the challenging standards "(Sittin' On) The Dock of the Bay" and "Bridge Over Troubled Water." Battiato's insistence on singing in English and French is particularly puzzling, when his diction can be almost embarrassing at times. When he sings in Italian, it is a completely different matter: he can be a genuinely affecting vocalist, as this album eloquently illustrates. In sum, an uneven collection that is as pleasant a listen as it is oddly unrepresentative of one of Italy's most cerebral songwriters.
© Mariano Prunes /TiVo

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Fleurs 2

Franco Battiato

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1
Tutto L'Universo Obbedisce All'Amore
00:03:27

Manlio Sgalambro, ComposerLyricist - Franco Battiato, Producer, Recording Arranger, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Carmen Consoli, FeaturedArtist - Francesco Cattini, Producer, Executive Producer

℗ 2008 Universal Music Italia Srl

2
Era D'Estate
00:03:03

Sergio Bardotti, Author - Sergio Endrigo, ComposerLyricist - Franco Battiato, Producer, Recording Arranger, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Francesco Cattini, Producer, Executive Producer

℗ 2008 Universal Music Italia Srl

3
E Piu' Ti Amo (Plus Je T'Entend)
00:03:10

Gino Paoli, ComposerLyricist - Franco Battiato, Producer, Recording Arranger, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Alain Barriere, ComposerLyricist - Francesco Cattini, Producer, Executive Producer

℗ 2008 Universal Music Italia Srl

4
It's Five O'Clock
00:02:58

Vangelis, Composer - Franco Battiato, Producer, Recording Arranger, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Claude Lemesle, Arranger, Work Arranger - Richard Julian Francis, Author - Francesco Cattini, Producer, Executive Producer

℗ 2008 Universal Music Italia Srl

5
Del Suo Veloce Volo (Frankestein)
00:03:09

Franco Battiato, Producer, Recording Arranger, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Antony Hegarty, FeaturedArtist, ComposerLyricist - Francesco Cattini, Producer, Executive Producer

℗ 2008 Universal Music Italia Srl

6
Et Maintenant
00:03:32

Gilbert Becaud, Composer - PIERRE DELANOE, Author - Franco Battiato, Producer, Recording Arranger, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Francesco Cattini, Producer, Executive Producer

℗ 2008 Universal Music Italia Srl

7
Sitting On The Dock Of The Bay
00:03:17

Otis Redding, ComposerLyricist - Steve Cropper, ComposerLyricist - Franco Battiato, Producer, Recording Arranger, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Anne Ducros, FeaturedArtist - Francesco Cattini, Producer, Executive Producer

℗ 2008 Universal Music Italia Srl

8
Il Carmelo Di Echt
00:03:22

Franco Battiato, Producer, Recording Arranger, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Roberto Camisasca, ComposerLyricist - Francesco Cattini, Producer, Executive Producer

℗ 2008 Universal Music Italia Srl

9
Il Venait D'Avoir 18 Ans
00:03:41

Franco Battiato, Producer, Recording Arranger, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Sepideh Raisadat, FeaturedArtist - Francesco Cattini, Producer, Executive Producer - Jean-Paul Vuillerme, ComposerLyricist

℗ 2008 Universal Music Italia Srl

10
Bridge Over Troubled Water
00:03:46

Paul Simon, ComposerLyricist - Franco Battiato, Producer, MainArtist

℗ 2008 Universal Music Italia Srl

11
La Musica Muore
00:03:32

Franco Battiato, Producer, Recording Arranger, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Juri Camisasca, FeaturedArtist - Roberto Camisasca, ComposerLyricist - Francesco Cattini, Producer, Executive Producer

℗ 2008 Universal Music Italia Srl

12
L'Addio
00:03:24

Franco Battiato, Producer, Recording Arranger, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Giacomo Di Martino, ComposerLyricist - Ippolita Avalli, ComposerLyricist - Francesco Cattini, Producer, Executive Producer

℗ 2008 Universal Music Italia Srl

Album Description

Franco Battiato has stated that Fleurs 2 will be the last installment of his non-sequential cover album trilogy, after 1999's Fleurs and 2001's Fleurs 3. It might as well be so, since what started as an intimate tribute is beginning to lose its charm. Many in Italy were extremely critical of Fleurs 2, deeming it a trifle unworthy of an artist of Battiato's stature -- not to mention an opportunistic commercial venture, released just in time for the holiday season. True, the Fleurs series is worlds apart from Battiato's typically demanding (if not downright hermetic) music. Once again, Battiato chooses a list of his personal favorite Italian, French, and English pop songs -- some well known, some obscure -- and sets them to delicate chamber music arrangements. The results are eminently tasteful, and hardly innovative. Still, what seems to hurt this record more for Battiato fans is the law of diminishing returns: he has been there before, and done it better. On the other hand, those unfamiliar with his previous work may find Fleurs 2 a rather exquisitely assembled collection -- with a few flagrant duds, granted, but also with several deeply moving moments. For one thing, Fleurs 2 features five stellar duets with an A-list of international vocalists: Carmen Consoli, Antony, Anne Ducros, Sepideh Raissadat, and Juri Camisasca. English-speaking audiences may be naturally curious about hearing Antony harmonize with Battiato in an Italian version of the rare B-side "Frankenstein," here renamed "Del Suo Veloce Volo" with completely changed lyrics -- and still as haunting as every Antony and the Johnsons song inevitably is. Fleurs 2's true masterpiece, however, is the opening track, "Tutto l'Universo Obbedisce All'amore," sung with Carmen Consoli. Not coincidentally, this humbly majestic love song is the only new Battiato original. There is no question that Battiato is a better composer than performer. It is precisely because of this that some of his choices seem rather inappropriate, such as the challenging standards "(Sittin' On) The Dock of the Bay" and "Bridge Over Troubled Water." Battiato's insistence on singing in English and French is particularly puzzling, when his diction can be almost embarrassing at times. When he sings in Italian, it is a completely different matter: he can be a genuinely affecting vocalist, as this album eloquently illustrates. In sum, an uneven collection that is as pleasant a listen as it is oddly unrepresentative of one of Italy's most cerebral songwriters.
© Mariano Prunes /TiVo

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