Vasco Rossi: "I give a voice to those who have none"

Vasco Rossi: “I give a voice to those who have none”

A return to the unsettling energy of rock, after a series of reflective and intimate records such as “No danger… for you”, “Songs for me” (which also won him the Tenco Prize in 1999) and “Stupid hotel”: that was it, though Vasco Rossi, “Good or Bad”. With almost thirty years of career behind him, the rocker from Zocca seemed to have said practically everything. Instead, time proved him right, transforming several pieces of this album into real workhorses. The album, released on April 2, 2004, sold 500 thousand copies in the first seven days of marketing alone. Here is the review we published at the time of its release, and some songs to encourage you to listen to it again.

It may be trivial to say it, but the release of a record by the rocker Zocca is not the usual publication that one can simply take note of, speaking about it well or badly depending on one's tastes and opinions. No, a new album by Vasco is a national-cultural event: it makes rivers of ink spill and the bottoms (with wallets attached) move of an audience that cannot be classified in the category of the “average music consumer”.

After all, it was the singer himself who admitted it, presenting his new effort to the press: “I give a voice to those who have none”: this is his work, which for years – among other things – he has carried out excellently.

“Good or bad” does not differ significantly from Vasco's most recent productions: yes, the nods to dance that emerged in “Rewind” are missing, in favor of a work more oriented towards rock in the most classic and broad sense of the term. An angry work, with an anger that is perhaps too stylized in some moments (“Do you ever get in trouble for what you do, do you ever get in trouble for who you are?”) but this does not mean it is not genuine. A mature and disillusioned work but not therefore cynical or pessimistic, which returns a photograph of a man and an artist who has always been coherent – sometimes despite himself – to himself.

“I need you, but a different need, is that without you, I feel lost”, sings Vasco in “Dimenticarsi”. In closing, “Un senso” is perhaps the most delicate and intimate episode, which is echoed by the (self-)ironic “Rock'n'roll show” (“You have to believe, you can't trust me, in practice it's just a rock'n'roll show”): the impression is that the “free” spirit of the rocker has not been weighed down by the years, but has actually matured, renouncing easy hyperbole in favor of a deeper and more mediated message.

Always remembering – and this, perhaps, is Vasco's real secret – to speak to a vast and heterogeneous audience, not inclined to refinements and sudden turns (stylistic and otherwise). Musically, therefore, no one expects anything more or less than the usual Vasco: distorted, majestic and “classically” rock guitars in the more tense songs, which leave room for acoustics and pianos dirtied by synths and strings to accompany him in the ballads.

For those who, until now, have never tolerated Vasco, this album will not change their minds. To those who appreciate it, “Good or Bad” will probably seem like a good stage in his long and honored career.