Achille Lauro, listen without prejudice

Achille Lauro, listen without prejudice

Five years ago, on April 12, 2019, the day he released his fifth album, “1969”, Achille Lauro he had just returned from participating in the Sanremo festival with “Rolls Royce”, a song that earned him a discreet ninth position in the final ranking of the Riviera event. A rock song totally different from what the Roman musician had proposed until then. A song of which it was talked about a lot earlier and during the festival. But “1969” not alone “Rolls Royce” it's done. Here is the review of the album that we published at the time of its release.

The “1969” of the title is a symbol of change, of the desire for freedom, of the need to express oneself in a different way than in the past: the Moon, Woodstock, the Beatles concert on the roof of Apple, “Tommy” by the Who, “Ummagumma ” by Pink Floyd. It is precisely that imagery that Achille Lauro draws on with this new album and the quotes in the lyrics of the songs and on the cover are not there by chance: Marilyn Monroe, Elvis, James Dean, Jimi Hendrix, the Rolls Royce. Style icons, first of all. The Roman rapper has plenty to spare: he also demonstrated it in Sanremo, surprising those who expected to see him as a trapper. The truth is that Lauro has never worn a single dress, until today: “I have never been myself”, he sings in a verse from “Rolls Royce”. This album, which partly follows the trend of the Sanremo piece, represents another step for his music, and could win over even the most sceptical: “Listen without prejudice”, as someone said.

Change, contamination and rupture: these are the words that the Roman rapper – but does it still make sense to define him as “just” a rapper? -he used it more to present “1969”. With these ten tracks, Lauro actually takes on a difficult task: taking trap under his arm and taking it beyond trap. It maintains the language (the big cars, the money, the ransom, the glory), but replaces the stories of drugs and hardship in the suburbs with a more personal melancholy, well summarized by the verses of the acoustic ballad “C'est la vie”: ” And I'm falling into the ravine on purpose / I'm throwing myself into the fire, tell me 'love no' / the flames will end, but the pain won't / and you can't kill love, but love can.”

Giving dignity to trap using the sounds of rock: this is what Lauro, supported by his inseparable partner Boss Doms and here also by Fabrizio Ferraguzzo (almost acting as a sentinel to the duo's experiments), is trying to do. And he succeeds well: the clichés of the genre are somehow “romanticized”, brought back to a retro imagery, the one on which the concept of the album refers. Not the “Lamborghinis” of Sfera Ebbasta and Gué Pequeno, for example, but the “Rolls Royce”. Which is still a symbol of luxury, but less ignorant than trap.

If you liked “Rolls Royce” – or if you saw something interesting in it, also considering the rapper's career – you will also go wild with “Cadillac”, “1969” and “Delinquente”, which take up the punk-rock of Sanremo song, with rough and scratchy guitars and “real” drums, not electronic ones. If, however, you prefer Lauro in a more elegant and refined guise, “Zucchero” is the track most similar to “C'est la vie”, while “cuss” and “Roma” remain close to Achille's rap and trap past, of which they remain you have some legacy in “Je t'aime” (with Coez) and “Sexy ugly”.

“1969” represents a gamble for Achille Lauro: it is a breakthrough album and as such it might not be understood by those who have followed him this far (making a sixty-nine is more difficult than making a sixty-eight, one might say). But it must also be said that he was good at accustoming his audience to continuous changes of direction: he followed fashions but always did it in his own way, contaminating genres (remember the samba trap of “Pour l'amour “?) and trying to propose new, different solutions, without necessarily wearing a single guise. He continues to do so here too, perhaps more decisively than in the past, and convinces: listening is believing. But without prejudice.