Mondo Melodia / Ark21
Zucchero is Adelmo Fornaciari, a native of Roncocesi, Italy, who has been performing since age 15 and has since built his way to international superstardom. From an American’s perspective, it’s an interesting product Zucchero is offering with Overdose D’Amore (The Ballads) : love songs, sung mostly in Italian, over a mixture of earthy nature music and light contemporary jazz. Such an album is a classy little offering, with a solid, trained voice carrying through these enigmas of songs that more resemble the kind of album you’d find sitting next to a bottle of incense and mini-waterfalls.
The shining star on Overdose D’Amore is also the only song whose title is actually in English, “Blue,” which features a duet with Sheryl Crow. Toned down to meet the more sensual sound of Zucchero, Crow works wonderfully on “Blue,” in front of music which has appropriately added some blues to the mix for a well-crafted and smoothly flowing international superstar of a love ballad. Also on the album are appearances by Sting and Luciano Pavorotti, each of who cater themselves nicely to the earth-tone flow of the album. For some reason, this album is only to be released in the US, which lends itself to an unsteady toss-up as to the fate of its popularity. When it comes down to it, though, if you need a soothing soundtrack to accompany yoga lessons or relaxing with cucumbers on your eyes, Overdose D’Amore might just do the trick.
Ark21 Records, 14724 Ventura Blvd, Penthouse Suite, Sherman Oaks, CA 91503; http://www.ark21.com