Thespian talent and chameleonic bravura since the ‘70s, Renato Zero’s return is a lively praise to madness and creative inventiveness that represents an indisputable seal of beauty in his long-running career.
Zero il Folle is the 30th studio album by the roman singer songwriter (as well as actor, writer and incomparable performer), out on the 4h of October and published by Tattica record company.
The record follows , two years later, the long relay of the laboratory Zerovskij, that only partially managed to convince his irreducible fans and has stellar names gravitating around its production. The British Trevor Horn, Phil Palmer, Alan Clark, but also relevant Italian authors such as Madonia.
This project was recorded in London and was anticipated by the leading single Mai più da soli, a vehement track meditating over the generational solitude of these times, a global sense of loss spewing Luddite reflections against technology and the excessive, overwhelming crave for progress. Renato’s dialectics is always mind-altering, even when his thoughts sound a bit anachronistic, even if it’s pretty clear that the loneliness here pilloried is rhyming with isolation, the millenials’s uncanny number one monster.
Viaggia is built around the enticing murmur of a theme already explored in various circumstances in his discography (Immi Ruah, Pionieri, Fammi sognare almeno tu). The atmosphere is a bit baroque, a bit rococo, but Zero always steers clear from predictability and therefore La culla è vuota is made of glistening, rockish awe. The extremely low birth rate currently plaguing Italy worries him and his lyrical grim persistence peeks in and out (Sperm count, You wake up! He blatantly sings).
Un uomo hits the ground running towards the manual of brand new descriptions of what a man should be, a concerned portrait which is the summation of contemporary scenarios. Although men might never turn over a new leaf, A man is an incessant river/ frightening braveness.
Tutti sospesi wipes from faces the bitter truth of looming social nightmares: in the era of apathy, we’re only awaiting Judgment day. There is no change, no will to receive an embrace or some help. Zero’s infuriated voice bravely reverberates: Tell me You’ll be fighting, He roars.
Renato Zero’s past is a manifesto of adventurous and daring artistic search, and despite of this new chapter not being as eye-opening as previous albums of the king of Sorcini (that’s the name of his fan base since forever) like Artide e Antartide, Trapezio, Cattura, it still boasts moments where the author calls a spade a spade, like in La Vetrina or Che fretta c’è.
The latter song contains sharable rage sprouts addressing eco-inclined concerns, riding a topos that urgently rings a ball in such a devastated country like Italy.
There are feeble moments indeed, that drag it all down: Qunto ti amo is an airy and forgettable ballad reminding of Mi chiamo aria, evanescent and sappy, modeled on an over listened guitars-driven melody in which the tedious orthodoxy takes over, elbowing Renato’s moralism. Questi anni miei is the carbon copy of Magari, but less biting and more linear, that flat that it seems miraculous when with Ufficio Reclami He finally returns to humor, tinged with satirical hues.
At the age of 69, there isn’t much more that this Italian portent hasn’t done with his talent and precisely because of this Zero il Folle is impossible to objectively rate, the only size we could adopt to measure its pros and cons is probably our heart.