With Humanize Andrea Appino he chose to tell the story people true. It’s a pop record, because it talks and makes people talk about the people, about common people. And precisely for this reason it is a disturbing work, far from the glossy and feel-good filters of contemporary entertainment. Humanity gathered in Humanize it is loved, hated and never understood. She is described in a sincere and raw way by an artist who feels part of the same people she sings about, and for this very reason he observes her with tenderness. Appino’s social vocation, demonstrated in almost thirty years of career as a soloist and with Zen Circus, makes him the most credible author for such an ambitious operation: a concept album that questions what it means to “be human”. Twenty-three tracks, 72 minutes, in which the Pisan singer-songwriter explores themes such as life, death, money, illness and war. But his is not the only voice on the album. Humanize arrives eight years after Great animal fitting, Appino’s second solo album. In this time, in addition to dedicating himself to four albums with the Zen Circus and participating in Sanremo in 2019, the Tuscan singer-songwriter worked out of the spotlight on his project. Like a documentary filmmaker, he toured Italy to collect the testimonies of hundreds of people. In schools, prisons, day centers. The result is that, in addition to the 14 songs, the album hosts nine “rallies of humanity”: as in Love rallies Of Pasolini, in front of the interviewer’s microphone people told their stories. Some hiding behind morality, others without a mask, painting a multifaceted picture of humanity. Humanize is the answer to those who wonder, caught up in the commercial frenzy, why records are still being made in 2023.
The work opens with Of our futurethe first step in this concept album. The man is hungry, sleepy and thirsty. But in addition to his primary needs he is afflicted by his emotional and cultural vices. There are contradictions and the self-indulgence of those who know they are making a mistake, but they continue to act in the same way: “We constantly change our minds and regret everything.” The string melody takes you back to Will, Appino’s first solo album. The sense of decadence is strengthened with Put this at my funeral. Here we address another of the album’s themes: the degeneration of the world of communication and the disillusioned ambition of being able to do without it. It’s just a bomb It’s a song with great timing. After the war nothing is the same as before, the world changes. The bass accompanies Appino’s voice: «It is useful for many things. To keep us united, but divided from those who are affected.” In the end the war is accepted, justified, so as not to affect the normal progress of our lives. The instrumental closing electronics – sound much explored in the work – gives way to moving Carnival. A piano music box depicts the human desire to hide in life, to be able to face it better.
The end of a boy it’s a punch in the stomach, one of the best pieces on the album. The demon of existence is a disease that degenerates into the indifference of a world that flaunts success and possibility. The guitar at the end laments and reinforces the concept: there is no compassion or improvement in suffering. Nothing is consolatory, so much so that it becomes anger with Enduro. The double bass played with the bow has the same contemptuous character as the electric guitar that opens Shitty people. Except that unlike the 2009 song by Circo Zen, this is to all intents and purposes a piece trap. In Genie in a Bottle There is the Baptists seventies of I you we all. And there is love, the feeling that everyone always talks about. Money is instead the theme of When you look at me. In the guitar playing, as well as in the vocal interpretation, you can hear the influence of The Sunday of the Corps Of De André. In a society that consumes goods, images and feelings, money has a decisive role: «Freedom cannot be bought, only those who have already bought it say so», sings Appino, and links to The perfect world of social media, where «The greatest privilege of the free market is that you are rich on the outside and desperate on the inside». The journey into the human ends with Nowa long song prog which faces the fear and sadness of separation from loved ones. Beyond the irony, the anger and the truth, the end of everything is sad, and remains inside like a scar.
Calcutta – Backbeat
Colapesce and Dimartino – Sex and Architecture
Piotta – Bau Bau
Source: Vanity Fair
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