Giovanni Caccamo: "I am dominated by my inconsolable lament"

Giovanni Caccamo: “I am dominated by my inconsolable lament”

Giovanni Caccamo was launched by the fellow countryman Franco Battiato who in 2012 invited him to support him on tour and produced his first single, “Indifference”in 2013. Caccamo made the definitive leap in 2015 when he won the ‘Nuove Proposte’ section at the Sanremo festival with “I will return to you”. The first album was released on February 10, 2015, “Here for you”. This is the review of his first album that he wrote for us Claudio Todesco.

I don’t know if you are aware of “Il sorpasso”, Dino Risi’s masterpiece film from 1962. There is the braggart bon vivant Vittorio Gassman who puts the fearful student Jean-Louis Trintignant on board a spider and takes him around the Aurelia at full speed, headed towards the sea. To me, the meeting between the producer Daniele Luppi and Giovanni Caccamo reminds me of that film. It happens that to give an electronic sound to his songs, the singer-songwriter of “Ritornerò da te” was sent to Los Angeles to work with Luppi, a Roman producer who moved to California, someone who in 2011 released an album entitled “Rome” recorded with Danger Mouse, with guests Norah Jones and Jack White.

Someone who plays in Serie A. The meeting-clash between the artistic personalities of the young Caccamo and the experienced Luppi gives life to a strange hybrid. The singing suggests a sense of looming melancholy, promptly denied by the electronic sounds that liven up the atmosphere. “I am dominated by my inconsolable lament”, sings Caccamo and Luppi seems to have been put there on purpose to tear the brooding singer-songwriter away from his piano and put him on board a convertible.

Seeing him singing “Ritornerò da te” on the Ariston stage, sitting at the piano and accompanied by the orchestra, one could mistake him for a traditional singer-songwriter. And instead Caccamo, fresh winner in the New Proposals section of Sanremo and co-author of “Adesso e qui” by Malika Ayane, debuts with a record with a pop soul. So much so that the Sanremo piece is included as a bonus track, as if it were alien to the rest. Indeed, in the 11 tracks that precede it – including a version of “Ritornerò da te” in tune with the rest of the album – electronic keyboards triumph, drum sounds that “open”, programming, slightly effected vocal parts, all combined with choruses super melodic, made to stick in your head. It’s true that in the second part the tones become more rarefied and the energy calms down, but then “Mare mare” arrives, which has a lot of the feel of a summer single, one of those that on the first listen you say “catchphrase” and on the third “ora but that’s enough.”

“Qui per te” focuses on the theme of the search for identity, but instead of taking on the serious tone of introspection he chooses the bright colors of pop which however do not always suit the style of the Sicilian singer-songwriter. The best that can be said about the record is that it’s nice. So damn cute it doesn’t leave a mark. More daring musical choices would have dignified it by making the songs more incisive. Some compositions are thin, perhaps immature, directed without possessing the brilliance – to give a high example – of the pop creations of Caccamo’s “silent mentor”, that Franco Battiato who wanted him on tour at the time of “Apriti sesame”. At a certain point he also arrives, the Maestro, and duets on the notes of “Satelliti nell’aria” which closes the album in a noble tone. But the meeting between Caccamo-Trintignant and Luppi-Gassman does not give life to a record with a strong, stimulating, convincing identity. No one crashes, as happens in the film, but the spider’s petrol runs out before reaching the sea.