The one and only Patty Pravo

The one and only Patty Pravo

Twenty years ago, on May 18, 2024, Patty Pravowhose real name is Nicoletta Strambellireleased his 24th album titled “Nic-Unic”. We remember the anniversary by re-proposing our review of the album written by Paola Maraone.

Nic as in Nicoletta, Unic as in unique. From one of our iconic singers comes a surprising, oblique, at times vaguely disturbing album. In short, we could say that it lies between rock and digital, a kaleidoscope of sounds, some of which are very avant-garde, others “clinging” to the past (nostalgia for the Seventies?) with an overall “very young” spirit. Mixed and produced with the help of a group of young Roman musicians and authors who do not intend to take away from the angularity of the “bad” Patty doll, the album opens with a song that is also an attack on today's males. And so far: the point is that it is aimed, specifically, at a hypothetical 20-year-old boy who is blamed and crucified as if he were 50, and this is not right. “What a man you are/ at twenty you're already tired; that's why I no longer have fun with you. What a man you are/ you can't make me laugh; I'll leave you because you don't make me live”, sings the implacable Pravo. The instinctive reaction is: damn, but who is dating this woman?

Things, however, do not improve with the following tracks: “Hey you” contains the desperate phrase “Hey you, buy me, then consume me and finally throw me” and also “Hey you, look at me, and with your eyes then undress me and leave me naked mercilessly”. Come on! In “Caldo”, on the other hand, “Cold as a body/ when that hatred flows/ like a frost in the soul/ I feel your distant gaze”. Very good.

The fourth track, “Tender Chiara”, is an erotic variation on the theme, a languid ballad, also soft musically, which tells – finally – of the successful meeting between two lovers. But it ends soon: in “Candles” the pace suddenly rises and we return to images like “Your hands are / Like two vultures” and “Some pieces of heart / That you chew slowly”. Help. The protagonist of “Orient Express” is a desperate superstar “with a lascivious gait” who enters a bar and “steals men's hearts and souls”, while in “We are sure that…” the underlying theme is the uncertainty and a reflection on the fact that “You can never take a breath”.

The next song, “Modern Tristezza”, is saved thanks to the fact that it has beautiful music and seems like a folk ballad, with the help of Bandabardò – the lyrics, although talking about a “killer of humanity”, take a back seat and lets us breathe. Small consolation comes from “Fairy Tale”, which tells of “Winds of Passion” and a love as pure and clear as the dawn, and from “Love Letters”, a cover-tribute to Elvis, with Phil Palmer's guitar.

According to some fellow reviewers, this album is very spirited, and shows how Patty is not at all weakened. This is certainly true, but to support and justify the violence of certain texts, extraordinary music is truly needed. And the shot, even for a professional like the talented Pravo, doesn't always succeed: we would have preferred her to be softer and more forgiving, because she really scared us a little. Of course: what doesn't choke makes you fat, and if you survive the harshness of the first impact you'll like the record. And then Pravo is Pravo, and her character is neither maternal nor welcoming. But he could have granted us a few more openings, even very vague ones.