Alas y Raices

by: Eros Ramazzotti

On Alas y Raices, his first all-new album in four years and tenth album overall, Italian singer/songwriter Eros Ramazzotti once again worked closely with longtime collaborator Claudio Guidetti, who is credited as co-producer and with co-writing ten of the 11 songs. The result is in many ways a typical Ramazzotti album. The songs are both lyrical and vocal showcases for Ramazzotti, and though the music is secondary, it's nonetheless amazing -- a symphonic style of pop/rock whose string arrangements are the work of Paul Buckmaster, a master whose illustrious career spans several decades, going all the way back to early-'70s pop/rock classics by Elton John, Harry Nilsson, and Carly Simon. Moreover, Alas y Raices is a dynamic album that ranges from the album-opening kickstart of "Apuntes y Notas," to the tailor-made hit single "Dimelo a Mi," to the heart-touching ballad "El Horizonte," to the lilting piano pop of "Afectos Personales," to the soaring power ballad "Alas y Raices," to the surging symphonic rock of "Flor Incluidos," to the orchestral highlight "Nosotros Incluidos," to the edgy electro-rock of "No Podemos Cerrar los Ojos." While all of this is in many ways typical for a Ramazzotti album, his post-millennial output in particular, Alas y Raices is a better all-around effort than predecessors such as Calma Aparente (2005) and 9 (2003), which are at times rote and random. In contrast, Alas y Raices sounds inspired and focused, as if the four years since Calma Aparente helped refresh Ramazzotti's album-making creativity. It also might have helped that Ramazzotti used the time off to release E2 (2007), a double-disc greatest-hits compilation comprised partly of newly recorded versions of past hits -- collaborative versions that are relatively experimental in style, perhaps a reflection of his desire to break free of audience expectations. In any event, Alas y Raices is Ramazzotti's best overall album in years, and while it's not brimming with potential smash hits (the perfect lead single "Dimelo a Mi" being the exception), it's definitely filled with highlights and lacking the filler that sometimes found its way onto previous albums. ~ Jason Birchmeier

Please enable Javascript to view this page competely.