Monday, December 23, 2013

The 2013-50: No.20 - No.16

No.20: "Chiedi di Me" - Renato Zero.

His name sounded familiar, however I wasn't familiar with any of his music until this year.  It was only during a brief phase of listening to Radio Italia ( during the spring that I discovered this dramatic, brassy, against-the-current pop song, passing on an older man's advice and life experience.  Having done some research, it would appear that Renato is a bit of a character and has certainly lived an exciting life!

No.19: "Ice On The Dune" - Empire of the Sun.

First (but, surprisingly, not last) appearance by my favourite Aussie duo.  This is the title track of that long-awaited album and is one of the tracks which is closest to the spirit of that debut album.  Other-worldly bright, clean, pop music not tainted by the kind of rot which marks much of this decade's so-called 'pop'.  Distinctive and unique. 

No.18: "Broken Parts" - Måns Zelmerlöw.
This was the year that Måns decided to break away from being Sweden's Mr Light Entertainment - quitting Allsång at a time when he was more popular than ever as the host of that famous 'poisoned chalice' which is always a target for the Swedish tabloid critics.  Måns also broke away from the commercial pop/dance of his first two albums and reinvented himself with this grown-up ballad.  Now I'm no ballad fan but this ticks all the boxes.   

No.17: "Old Flavours" - Empire of the Sun.

Here they are again!  This predominantly instrumental track, premiered at their Sydney Opera House concert, was previously the subject of a YouTube teaser video (we all thought it was called 'Discovery' to begin with).  Musically, it's all the things I love about Empire of the Sun and it would probably have been up there in my top 5 if it had been a proper 'song' rather than an instrumental with a couple of lines near the end. 

No.16: "Ti" - Rezarta Smaja.

Time to bend the rules/criteria a little, as this is a song which first came to my attention at the end of 2012.  Around this time last year to be precise, as I experienced my first ever Festivali i Këngës, a very enjoyable start to a long national finals season.  Along came Rezarta with this big old Italian-style ballad, backed by a live orchestra.  No playback or pre-recorded backing vocals here! She gave it her all, and this song immediately sailed into my heart.  She'll be back later this week at FiK 52: hope her song is as good as this one.

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