Salmo, between underground attitude and mainstream breath

Salmo, between underground attitude and mainstream breath

In this time Psalm is busy on tour with Noyz Narcosthe two present the joint album live “Cvlt” (laws here is the review) published in November 2023. Today Maurizio Pisciottuthis is the real name of Psalm, turns 40. The musician from Olbia has published six albums under his name, the latest of which is “Flop”released in 2021.

He introduced it to his fans on social media: “FLOP was born in March 2020, the result of lockdown and a global pandemic. The first song I wrote was “A Dio”. At that time I felt completely destabilized, like everyone else. They canceled the world tour due to the pandemic and, as if that wasn’t enough, the relationship with my ex ended shortly thereafter. I sank into a black hole and I’m not ashamed to say that I had to take a course of psychotropic drugs to recover.” Below is our review of .“Flop”.

Salmo’s sixth album is, musically, his most complete project. It recovers some aggressive rock and pounding sounds from his early days, it doesn’t give up some strong incursions into pop as already happened in 2018’s “Playlist”, but it is also capable of broadening the musical boundaries of the Sardinian rapper, who in “Flop” doesn’t give up on testing himself. He does it on productions studied in detail, several personally curated. Some are softer and more alluring, others have the effect of an amphibian crushing a pair of flip-flops. Salmo moves in constant balance between these worlds: for some it might seem like a compromise and disappoint expectations, but in reality the mix between underground attitude and mainstream breath has now become the rapper’s stylistic figure, the one that has brought him to true success. After all, he also says it in the title track: “It’s ok, I’m a sellout, it’s ok, who cares”. He doesn’t give a damn about criticism and continues on his way.

Inside “Flop” there are all of Salmo’s musical and writing codes, but also some unexpected incursions.

Accompanying him are four feats: Noyz Narcos, Marracash, Gué Pequeno and Shari. The first three, pillars of Italian rap, do not disappoint and produce powerful and evocative bars, in particular Noyz, while the young singer, known for her collaboration with Benji and Fede in the song “Sale”, is the perfect voice for a tear-jerking song . “Flop” is not a full-fledged concept, but it has some recurring themes that still make it a massive project whose songs, in many cases, connect to each other: success, religion, love and mental health , put to the test in the hardest period of the pandemic. The cover is inspired by Alexandre Cabanel’s 1868 work “The Fallen Angel”.

Salmo, in several situations, explores the dark sides of a continuous race to the top that overturns and rots lives, poisoning the true spirit that drives one, especially at the beginning of one’s career, to make music. A metamorphosis which, if not tamed and understood, risks leading to madness and destabilization. In some moments he addresses the issue with his usual irony, in others with a painful awareness that leads him, provocatively, to accept disappointment, to take the “Flop” into account, not caring about the attacks. In the skit “Vivo”, a monologue by the Roman actor Josafat Vagni, this concept is explained with phrases that clearly tell how much success makes more noise “when it falls”. In a society where we must always be “performing” and at the top, Salmo seems to claim the “right to make mistakes”.

The album starts with two songs that mark the “return of Salmon” on the track: “Antipatico”, which features social criticism on the obsession of kids with weapons, and “Mi sento bene”, produced by Andry The Hitmaker, in which the rapper begins to show the chains he feels on his body at certain times.

“Criminale” is a rock-sounding piece in which Salmo plays with his voice and, taking the machete, tears the scene to shreds, targeting the treatment reserved for live music during Covid: “Now they’re all criminals, but no one gives a shit about music anymore. We’ve become the background to a podcast, a ballet for TikTok. It’s like watching a movie without a soundtrack”. “Ghigliottina” with Noyz is an “old-fashioned” rap piece without filters and compromises, while “In trappola” and “La chiave” with Marracash are songs that speak to each other because they address fame and its effects from different perspectives. In the second, Salmo is the protagonist of a more pop chorus, which takes him out of his rapcore comfort zone. He puts his voice before everything.

“Kumite”, produced by Takagi & Ketra, arrives like a bolt from the blue: a love song with Latin hues that will leave fans of the first hour stunned. With “Che ne so” the aggression and irreverence return while with “Yhwh”, a track in which Gué appears, sound experimentation is preferred. “Hellvisback 2” and “A Dio” speed down the road of rock, which in the first case seems to almost want to evoke Chuck Berry, while in the second a certain acoustic blues that marries well with a text populated by saints and bandits (Alex Britti plays the guitar: the Roman musician, with whom Salmo already duetted in the single “Brittish”, is also credited as co-author of the song). “Fuori di testa” (inspired by “I’m So Crazy” by Par-T-One) is the most daring, jumping and pogoing Psalm, which paves the way for “Marla”, a jazzy love song, and the sweeter and more pop “L’angelo caduta”. The album closes with the title track, a song steeped in rock and electronics, and the fun “Aldo ritmo”.