Italian Stallion Marco Mengoni is the latest ESC artist to feature in our album reviews series, with “#prontoacorrere”, which translates as “Ready To Run” (why he felt the need to stylise it as a hashtag is anyone’s guess..) So, what kind of an album is it, and how does it compare to his Eurovision entry “L’essenziale”?
If you would expect a Marco Mengoni album to comprise of fifteen “L’essenziale”-esque Italian-language pop-rock ballads, then you’re in for a surprising listen with this one. Yes, the majority of the songs are in the Italian language, but besides that, the album succeeds in amalgamating a number of more unexpected styles into one cohesive piece, driven by Marco’s unmistakable vocals. Prime examples of this would be “Spari Nel Deserto”, which channels some of the soul-inspired sounds of his contemporary Nina Zilli; and “Una Parola”, which sees Marco taking an unexpected but welcomed sidestep into commercial dance-pop.
The title track “Pronto A Correre”, which was co-written by Mark Owen of Take That fame has been released as the second single, and could be seen as typical of his artistic style. The instrumentation is punchy and dramatic, with the melody highlighting the versatility of Marco’s voice. Plus the official video released to accompany the song sees the stunning Mr. Mengoni running a relay race in a suit (as you do). Always a bonus.
My personal favourite would have to be “La Vita Non Ascolta” (Life Doesn’t Listen); a soaring, minor-key epic of a song, being at times both subdued and energetic, all the while allowing Marco to deliver a memorable and powerful vocal line. Looking further into the meaning of the song, it would appear to be a gritty inspirational call to independence; with the chorus’ closing lines translating as “Whatever happens, take control and go”.
Other highlights would be the straight-down-the-line pop gem that is “Evitiamoci (La Soluzione)”, which features what is probably the album’s catchiest hook, complete with a backing choir of scalic “oh-oh-oh”s; alongside the piano ballad “20 Sigarette” and the song most similar to his Eurovision entry “Non Passerai”.
Sami Luukela from Finland: I love it!
Nathan Stella from the Netherlands: Romantic <3
Teresa Varela from Portugal: Great singer and I love it!
So it seems that the majority of ESC fans would agree that “#prontoacorrere” is definitely worth a listen. After all, Marco is an established artist, and this, his second studio album, certainly deserves to earn him new legions of fans outside of Italy. I will enjoy listening to it for a long time to come!