Perché Sanremo è Sanremo! With only three weeks until the Sanremo Music Festival, juicy new details are coming thick and fast out of Italy.
On January 17 — during a closed-door, invitation-only meeting held at RAI television studios in Milan — journalists and bloggers from the country’s most important newspapers and music websites had the chance to preview the competing songs and to write down their opinions. Without a doubt, these have been among the most read articles in Italy over the last few days!
It has been an annual tradition for twenty years, and a celebrated first taste of what we might expect from the entries. As you already know, we won’t be able to hear the songs until the first performance on the stage, as required by sanremese rules and regulations.
Over two parts, we are going to report the general feelings of the press, sending our big thanks to the Italian Eurovision source Eurofestival News for sharing it with us.
Sanremo Festival 2020 Songs: Early reviews (Part Two)
Elodie – “Andromeda”
For almost everyone this will be one of the entries fighting to win the Festival. With lyrics by Mahmood, and music by Dardust, it’s somewhat recognizable. There are those who consider “Andromeda” the best option for Eurovision. It has an original structure for a modern urban-pop number with many melody and harmony changes. A targeted vocal effect makes Elodie sound like a female Mahmood.
Sample lyrics: “Dici che sono una grande stronza che non ci sa fare, una donna poco elegante / La mia fragilità è la catena che ho dentro ma se ti sembrerò piccola non sarò la tua Andromeda”
English translation: “You say I’m a big bitch who has no game, an inelegant woman / My frailty is the chain inside me, but if I look small to you I won’t be your Andromeda”
Raphael Gualazzi – “Carioca”
The Eurovision 2011 crooner drowns his sorrows after heartbreak in a fictionalised Cuba. It’s a cheerful but melancholic divertissement with percussion, brass and latin sounds, all mixed with modern electro music. This is a hypnotic musical concoction that could do well on the radio.
Sample lyrics: “Voglio una vita che non finisce più / Ma chi l’avrebbe detto / Sento solo la musica / Carioca”
English translation: “I want a neverending life / Who would have thought / I only hear the music / Carioca”
Le Vibrazioni – “Dov’è”
This is a classic rock ballad with a vintage atmosphere. Lacking originality, according to critics it recalls one of the band’s previous hits “Vieni da me”. The title is repeated 16 times the refrain alone and 32 times overall.
Sample lyrics: “Ho una clessidra ferma al posto del cuore”
English translation: “I have a still hourglass, instead of the heart”
Marco Masini – “Il confronto”
The singer is celebrating a thirty-year career and the entry is in fact a celebration of his life, which has been a long journey. The structure recalls that of “Che giorno è”, presented at Sanremo 2015 by Masini. The authors Federica Camba and Daniele Coro also put their signatures on many early numbers for Alessandra Amoroso. For this reason “Il confronto” seems like a single from her discography.
Sample lyrics: “E sei stato un bugiardo, non hai avuto coraggio, quasi sempre imperfetto ma qualche volta saggio / Non sei arrivato qui per sbaglio, hai dato tutto il peggio, ma hai fatto del tuo meglio”
English lyrics: “You were a liar, you didn’t have courage, almost always imperfect but sometimes wise / You didn’t come here by mistake, you gave all your worst, but you did your best”
Enrico Nigiotti – “Baciami adesso”
“It seems to come from the Paleozoic era, in an edition like this,” writes one blogger. An intimate ballad, with a whispered beginning and a refrain that recalls Marco Mengoni’s style. However, the track risks being lost in the 24-song competition.
Sample lyrics: “Baciami adesso che poi fa buio presto / Sei l’unica stanza che mi salva dal disordine”
English translation: “Kiss me now that it gets dark early / You are the only room that saves me from chaos”
Rita Pavone – “Niente (Resilienza 74)”
Those who expected a slow song that winks at the older audience will be amazed. It’s an energetic rock track. Rita’s interpretation is convincing and masks the somewhat dated structure written by her son, George Merk. The artist reflects on her life with a touch of regret for not grasping all aspects of a not always simple existence.
Sample lyrics: “Meglio cadere sopra un’isola o un reality che qualche stronzo voterà / Non hai mai saputo spezzarmi, travolgermi / Anche l’orgoglio si rimargina”
English translation: “Better to fall on an island or a reality show that some asshole will vote for / You never knew how to break me, overwhelm me / Even pride heals”
Pinguini Tattici Nucleari – “Ringo Starr”
A catchy song with overwhelming production, fun lyrics and a refrain considered to be perfect. It’s been branded a surefire earworm. The song talks about the realisation of what one would like to be or become. They quote Batman, Robin, the Lion King, but above all the Beatles.
Sample lyrics: “In un mondo di John e Paul, io sono Ringo Starr”
English translation: “In a world of John and Paul, I am Ringo Starr”
Rancore – “Eden”
The rapper proposes a moving and original entry with echoes of classical and contemporary music. The apple and its allegorical and metaphorical meaning are the cornerstone of the track. Rancore’s interpretation is intense, confident and straight to the point. He’s one of the most appreciated, among the candidates for the victory. Halfway through the song there is a “ta ta ta” which recalls rifle shots, that has the same effect of the clapping in “Soldi”.
Sample lyrics: “Ogni mela che regali porta un’intuizione / L’11 settembre ti ho riconosciuto/ Quando dici grande mela / È un codice muto, tu vuoi nemici sempre/ Se la strega è in Iraq / Biancaneve è con i sette nani/ E dorme in Siria”
English translation: “Every apple you give brings an intuition / On September 11 I recognized you / When you say big apple / It’s a mute code, you always want enemies / If the witch is in Iraq / Snow White is with the seven dwarfs / And she sleeps in Syria”
Riki – “Lo sappiamo entrambi”
This number is less-appreciated by critics, and looks destined to finish towards the bottom of the rankings. The classically structured track boasts a few touches of urban and R&B. But that’s not enough to save it. In some parts the vocals are auto-tuned. It tells a love story that has come to an end.
Sample lyrics: “Io fisso il vuoto che è a pezzi e tu, tu ti addormenti guardando la tv / Però qualcosa non torna, tralasciando i ricordi che ho di te / Ti scrivo e dopo cancello, non ti scrivo che tanto è inutile”
English translation: “I stare at the emptiness that is in pieces and you fall asleep watching TV / But something doesn’t add up, leaving aside the memories I have of you / I write to you and then I delete / I don’t write to you, it’s useless”
Tosca – “Ho amato tutto”
An elegant entry, far removed from the productions of recent years. The jazz ballad with the piano in the foreground, is completed by an intense and measured orchestration. It’s from a different time. Critics appreciate the effort while acknowledging that it may go unnoticed.
Sample lyrics: “Se tu mi chiedi in questa vita cosa ho fatto, io ti rispondo: ho amato tutto”
English translation: “If you ask me in this life what I did, I answer: I loved everything”
Alberto Urso – “Il sole ad Est”
The one-time bookies’ favourite and the latest winner of Amici di Maria De Filippi brings a track that follows the style with which he made himself known, classic Italian opera pop. The arrangements will be enhanced by the orchestra, but the song would have been considered ancient already in the 1990s.
Sample lyrics: “Per te ho nel cuore il sole ad est / E nel mondo, ovunque vada, mi ricorderò la strada che porta fino a te”
English translation: “For you I have the sun in my heart to the east / And in the world, wherever I go, I will remember the road that leads to you”
Michele Zarrillo – “Nell’estasi o nel fango”
He has always brought ballads to the Festival and, therefore, this uptempo with four-on-the-floor rhythm is going to surprise the audience. The classic melody, however, seems detached from modern production, creating a hybrid which is a little puzzling.
Sample lyrics: “Io resto qui come vedi / Io resto ancora in piedi / Sia nell’estasi o nel fango”
English translation: “I’m staying here as you can see / I’m still standing / Whether in ecstasy or in the mud”
What do you make of the previews so far? Which of the above are you most excited for? Let us know in the comments. And read Part One here!