In October he teased us with the first two singles from his highly anticipated fifth studio album Atlantico. And at the end of November Marco Mengoni finally released the full LP for us to delve into.
The album effortlessly flows from electric-guitar-fuelled anthems such as lead single “Voglio”, to stripped back acoustic guitar based songs like “Buona Vita”, while at the same time featuring a number of powerful ballads that involve just as much emotion as his Eurovision 2013 song “L’essenziale”.
One such ballad is “Hola (I Say)”, the latest single from the LP. The track features Scottish singer-songwriter Tom Walker, who may be best known to readers for his 2017 hit single “Leave a Light On”.
Both Marco and Tom are known for their emotive power when singing, so combining their vocal abilities together results in a truly magical track that touches you across both the Italian and English language. (We’re not crying, you are!)
Lyrically, the song refers to the usual story of a person who has fallen in love with someone else. Except there’s the slight twist that their lover’s first language is Spanish, but they don’t speak the language themselves.
Unfortunately it’s revealed that, despite this person’s attempts to learn the language, the individual they’ve fallen for doesn’t reciprocate this love: “And you preferred TV better than spending time with me / And how do you live with yourself when / around your heart you have the Berlin wall?”.
But our protagonist can’t quite move on that quickly themselves, and they’re now stuck with all the habits they picked up while with their former partner: “And I never was much good at watching movies with subtitles / but with you I didn’t mind it / and I guess that’s the cliché / ’cause now that you’re gone / I can’t watch films without them…Guess I wasted my time / trying to learn Spanish / the only thing I can say / is hola, hola”.
Marco Mengoni – “Hola (I Say)” (feat. Tom Walker)
The music video for the track predominantly focuses around the troubled love-life of one couple. There are times when they’re happy together, but others where technology gets in the way or they’re not seeing eye to eye.
Wearing black balaclavas, they then end up attempting to commit some sort of crime at a local cafe. Although we hear gun shots, exactly what entails remains a mystery. However, we see the cafe now in ruins as the couple escapes off into the night, but arguing about what they have just done.
Marco also provides a solo Italian-language version of the track later in the album for those who want to get lost in his smooth vocals throughout the entire song. Additionally, like with the lead two singles, a Spanish-language version of “Hola (I Say)” has also been released, with the full Spanish version of Altanitco set to come out on the 18th January 2019.
Marco Mengoni – Atlantico
In regards to the other 14 songs on the album, those who loved lead-single “Voglio” will want to check out “Muhammad Ali”. Another track with a strong pulsing beat, the song talks about how “we are all Muhammad Ali” and how we all have the strength to stand tall even if you wake up in the morning to find “your greatest enemy smiles at you in the mirror”.
If you were a fan of the traditional flair that the Italian star put on “Buona Vita” then be sure to check out “La casa azul” (“The blue house”) for a similar style, or “Amalia” for a more upbeat take on the genre.
Meanwhile, if you’re a lover of Marco’s passionate ballads you’ve got a lot of choice as well. Perhaps a stand out is “Everest”, with an electronic post-chorus that blends extremely well with the strings that swell throughout the verses.
The LP definitely has something for everyone, and that’s only scratching the surface of what’s on offer. You can be assured that we’ll be putting the album on repeat for the next few weeks to explore absolutely everything that Marco has for us on this emotional roller coaster.
What do you make of Marco’s collaboration with Tom Walker? Which other tracks from Atlantico are you loving? Do you wish he had saved one of these songs for Sanremo 2019? Tell us all your thoughts in the comments below!