The Kolors' latest album

The Kolors’ latest album

The name The Kolors in recent seasons it has been synonymous with successful singles called “Italodisco” or “A boy a girl” or even more “Karma”the latest born. However, if we want to find an album by the Campania band, we have to go back to 2017 when it was published “You”the last of their three albums. Today that Stash Fiordispino It turns 35 and we went back to read our review of that album.

Who are the Kolors? The ones from the “Everytime” chorus or the ones who already at “Amici” were placing international covers with the confident attitude of a rock band? The ones who declare their love for XTC and Pink Floyd, or the ones who put trap in the launch single of the new album?

All these things together, and more, as this new work wants to demonstrate. In the general perception they are still the ones of the hit that launched them in 2015, after the victory at “Amici”, that “Everytime” that a well-known telephone company chose as the jingle of its commercials and that was heard around for more than a year. They risked being devoured by that song, and so, after the incident at the MTV Awards last year, Stash and his companions decided to stay away from the spotlight for a few months and work on their third album, after “I want” in 2014 and “Out” in 2015.

Anticipated by Stash’s participation in “Assenzio” by Fedez and J-Ax, by a nice passage on “Music” (the program about music hosted by Paolo Bonolis last January on Canale 5) and by the single “What happened last night”, this new studio album by the trio is finally out. And it’s a beautiful album, that goes beyond genres and beyond pop. An album that tries to reposition the band, maintaining some traits of its pop phase, but making its roots explicit and at the same time trying to propose an innovative sound, at least for the Italian context.

The choice to publish “What happened last night” as the first single was not a coincidence. The song contains all the characteristic traits of “You” – that’s the title of the album: guitars in the style of Ed Sheeran, big keyboards, EDM seasoned with a splash of trap (the song also features Gucci Mane, who is one of the greatest exponents of the genre in the States), acid and rock guitar solos, catchy and radio-friendly melodies. The album is more or less all like this: the sound is the same as the previous album, round like the big eye on the cover, but more refined (try listening to it with headphones: it’s like a drop of blood under a microscope – “Spike” Stent, already a sound engineer for Madonna, Coldplay and Muse, intervened during the mixing phase), more “adult” if you like, more “mature”, in the sense that there is more work of contamination and influences.

The work on the sound is the most interesting aspect of “You”: if the previous album by Kolors had been produced by the trio members themselves (with the artistic supervision of Elisa, their coach at “Amici”), this time Stash and his companions preferred to rely on others.

Part of the work took place in London and saw Kolors collaborate with Tommaso Colliva: a name that comes from the Italian indie (Calibro 35) and is a sort of guarantee, a quality mark. A sort of bridge between the Italian world (he worked with Afterhours, Ministri, Marta Sui Tubi, Ghemon) and the international one (he is the sound engineer for Muse). Exactly the kind of trajectory that the band is trying to follow. Back in Italy, the band then joined the Neapolitan house duo Daddy’s Groove in the studio (who in the past remixed songs by Kylie Minogue, Steve Angello and Axwell).

Two completely different realities, then: on one side rock, on the other rather marked electronics. And it works: in the songs contained in “You”, Kolors try to mix different sounds and styles. The results are particularly interesting: “Chemical love” is a bit samba, a bit electronics; the instrumental “Souls connected” plays a psychedelic guitar on a decidedly 80s sound background; “Crystallize” is pure electropop with a post-punk chorus; “Dream alone” is brit-rock (it is no coincidence that there are Andy Bell and Gem Archer, ex-Oasis).

The merit of this album is also its limit: being more thought out, more produced, more layered, it is at the same time less immediate than its predecessor, and may disorientate those who think that Kolors are a pop band, in the worst sense of the term. It is instead the work of an adult band, who knows how to handle sounds, melodies and songs: “listen without prejudice”, said a singer, and it could surprise you.