The Elii do not have half measures, and love opposites

The Elii do not have half measures, and love opposites

Elio and the Tense Stories on February 19, 2008 they released their ninth studio album entitled “Students”. We remember him here by re-proposing the review he wrote for us at the time Alfredo Marziano.

They returned to Sanremo at the right time, with Baudo as their patron saint: and so, while they heroically make dawn after the Festival, the new album is online and on store shelves, available to newbies who are now making their acquaintance. on TV like hard and pure fans who have been patiently waiting for a sequel to “Cicciput” for five years. The latter will not have overwhelming surprises when listening to “Studentessi”, if not for one guest list even more dense than usual, populated by TV comedians, friends and colleagues who, when they are involved, willingly accept the prank, the mocked car and the fun holiday (you won’t believe it, there’s even Carla Fracci!).

Despite everything that happened in between – books, shows, TV programs – now that they are back together, EelST are still the same: the usual tightrope walkers of the pentagram, the usual jugglers of the calembour.

Irreverent and low-cut (the red sticker for “explicit lyrics”, so dear to Americans, could cover the entire cover here). Surreal and silly. Hypertextual and, one-off, also terribly serious: the case is already known, that “Parco Sempione” which, under the pretext of a story about an African who cannot play the bongos, serves to denounce the felling of a Milanese forest and to curse it (it is a euphemism…) the instigators, Formigoni and his council. It is the strongest and spiciest dish on the album, ça va sans dire, and also one of the most complex musical constructions, world music for refined palates.

The funniest? Perhaps that “Surprise Suicide” in five movements in which, supported by a delightful Paola Cortellesi, EelST mock the obsession of satanic messages hidden in the folds of death and black metal by turning the perspective 360 ​​degrees: the idea is hilarious, brilliant the execution with those swing gusts in Trio Lescano style and the horn arrangements by Demo Morselli which have as much to do with the theme of the song as cabbage for a snack.

First-time listeners, above all, will enjoy picking up endless quotes: Genesis from the “Selling England by the pound” period and the introduction to “Plafone”, a pop operetta with the virtuous voice of Antonella Ruggiero which rises up to to dizzying heights, and the ghost Belphegor of the Louvre that terrified us as children, naive that we were.

Mickey Mouse and the Beatles from “Sgt. Pepper.” Irene Grandi who in “Heavy samba” (a mix between Jobim, Bruno Martino and Zeppelin) imitates Robert Plant’s rock meows. The Celentanesque incipits of “La league of love” and the interpolation between Morricone, Memo Remigi and Rita Pavone that opens “Indiani (a caval donando”), a cartoon western with de rigueur banjo and violin. The taste (à la Monty Python) for the absurd prevails, a consolidated trademark: see “The Congress of Soft Parts” (with a long and dreamy outro which makes it clear what they are or would be capable of) and the funkettones “Gargaroz” and “Supermassiccio” (“Blessed be the black hole and Kepler’s laws”…).

Add to this the ferocious and stinging madness of Mangoni, who here (“The architect’s response”) confronts rappers head-on on their own battlefield. And the guests we were talking about: Claudio Baglioni, who has cleared the theme of self-irony since the days of Fazio and “Anima mia” is the inspirer, as well as the voice, of a forgetful tune that acts as a trait d’ union between the various moments of the album, but there is also a persuasive Giorgia in a soul woman version, Crozza, Bisio and the sports commentator Guido Meda (but the interlude by this DJ Stefano is more fun).

They don’t have half measures, the Elios, and they love opposites: surfing like Vianello or the Pavone yè yè they slide into indelicacy (On sadness, Elio sings, “even Luigi Tenco prospered there for many years until the poor guy was overwhelmed by it ”); then they resurrect an old piece from 1997, “Single” (the theme song of a radio program of the same name with Bruno Gambarotta and Luciana Littizzetto), to pay affectionate homage to the memory of Paolo Panigada, aka Feiez. That’s how they are, take it or leave it, do-goodism like Veltroni or Jovanotti is not their thing. They don’t worry about pleasing everyone, and they do well. They love to have fun, good God, but I would like to see them dare something different, now that they are grown up. Is Frank Zappa their tutelary deity or isn’t he?