Chocabeck

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Mariano Prunes
Zucchero's absurdly successful career has been built around the combination of all-too-Italian histrionics and his passion for African-American music. As many extroverted entertainers before him, as the decades went by there was always the inherent risk of his one day turning into a parody of his own persona. Signs of a newfound maturity were already visible in his last studio offering, 2006's Fly, but in 2010's Chocabeck he fully reaches an understated grandeur. A concept album of sorts, loosely describing one day from dawn to dusk in a small Italian town not unlike the ones of the singer's childhood, this beautiful, autumnal cycle of songs works quite differently from ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Mariano Prunes
Zucchero's absurdly successful career has been built around the combination of all-too-Italian histrionics and his passion for African-American music. As many extroverted entertainers before him, as the decades went by there was always the inherent risk of his one day turning into a parody of his own persona. Signs of a newfound maturity were already visible in his last studio offering, 2006's Fly, but in 2010's Chocabeck he fully reaches an understated grandeur. A concept album of sorts, loosely describing one day from dawn to dusk in a small Italian town not unlike the ones of the singer's childhood, this beautiful, autumnal cycle of songs works quite differently from Zucchero's standard proposition of a few instant hits and a lot of raunchy filler. The first three songs, for instance, constitute almost a mini-suite of quiet, hymn-like ballads that set the mood for most of the album. It certainly helps that the opener, "Un Soffio Caldo," has lyrics by the great Francesco Guccini, or that is immediately followed by the album's centerpiece "Il Suono Della Domenica," with lyrics by Bono translated into Italian, while the third one, "Soldati Nella Mia Città," is reminiscent of Francesco de Gregori. It is only when the day reaches noon that loud guitars and soul background vocals come back to announce a double dose of old-school Zucchero, with the first single, "E un Peccato Morir," and the compulsory double entendre joke "Vedo Nero." The remainder of the album is split between more atmospheric ballads and midtempo numbers, but the reigning sensation is one of melancholy, not in the least because the last three tracks progressively slow things down, drawing closed a perfect circle. As is customary with Zucchero's productions, the list of collaborators is both impressive and key to the album's success. Co-writers, for instance, include Pacifico and Roland Orzabal, the aforementioned Bono and Guccini, and Zucchero regulars such as composer Mimmo Cavallo and lyricist Pasquale Panella. Brian Wilson sings multiple harmonies on the title track, and Don Was and Brendan O'Brien produce. For all of their input, what is most remarkable about Chocabeck is its stylistic and thematic consistency and, of course, Zucchero's emotive singing. Surprisingly for an artist so long associated with raucous fun, this is a work that often achieves a certain stately elegance. Far from a spent creative force, Zucchero looks like an artist capable of reinventing himself in a poignant and dignified manner. Buyers beware: as has typically been the case since Zucchero achieved international stardom, the Italian, European, and American versions of Chocabeck will differ. Instead of "Il Suono Della Domenica," the European version includes the original Bono English lyrics for the same song, titled "Someone Else's Tears." The American version will be sung entirely in English, with two songs featuring new lyrics penned by Iggy Pop, "Too Late" and "Spirit Together" "Alla Fine" and "Chocabeck" in the Italian CD. This review concerns the Italian edition.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 10/4/2011
  • Label: Decca U.S.
  • UPC: 602527558684
  • Catalog Number: 001597602

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Un Soffio Caldo (5:02)
  2. 2 Il Suono Della Domenica (3:36)
  3. 3 Soldati Nella Mia Città (3:19)
  4. 4 È Un Peccato Morir (3:41)
  5. 5 Vedo Nero (3:53)
  6. 6 Oltre Le Rive (4:39)
  7. 7 Un Uovo Sodo (3:14)
  8. 8 Chocabeck (4:42)
  9. 9 Alla Fine (3:43)
  10. 10 Spicinfrin Boy (3:54)
  11. 11 God Bless the Child (3:47)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Zucchero Primary Artist, Organ, Acoustic Guitar, Piano, Electric Guitar, Harpsichord, Keyboards, Electric Piano, Vocals, 12-string Guitar, Indexed Contributor
Brian Wilson Background Vocals
Paul Bushnell Bass
Bob Carr Bassoon
Josh Freese Percussion
Mark Goldenberg Guitar
Greg Leisz Acoustic Guitar, Banjo, Mandolin, Pedal Steel Guitar, Electric Guitar
Ira Nepus Trombone
Brendan O'Brien Guitar, Keyboards, Vocals
Tom Peterson Flute
Patrick Warren Keyboards
Don Was Bass
John Yoakum English Horn, French Horn, Piccolo
Jeffrey Foskett Background Vocals
Jon Hopkins Keyboards
Stephanie O'Keefe French Horn
Aaron Sterling Percussion, Drums
Davide Rossi Strings, Viola
Max Marcolini Acoustic Guitar, Electric Guitar
Blaks Mills Acoustic Guitar
Unni & Visigoti Gospel Choir Lunisiana Soul Choir, Chorus
Technical Credits
Zucchero Composer, Producer, Horn Arrangements, String Arrangements, Concept, Instrumentation, Creation
Ted Jensen Mastering
Brendan O'Brien Producer
Don Was Producer
Krish Sharma Engineer, Vocal Engineer
Lars Fox Engineer
Maurizio Biancani Digital Editing
Stefano Steo Zacchi Art Direction
Stewart Young Management
Lauro Fornaciari Personal Assistant
Stefano Marcante Personal Assistant
Tom Syrowski Engineer, Vocal Engineer
Nick Cervonaro Engineer
Lee Slater Engineer
Laura Vergani Personal Assistant
Davide Rossi String Arrangements
C. Jankel Composer
Max Marcolini Horn Arrangements, String Arrangements, Instrumentation
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