Monday, July 28, 2008

Taylor Swift

Taylor Swift has already had quite the start to her music career and she's only 16 years old. At age 14, she signed with Sony/ATV Tree Music Publishing... And, now she is signed with Big Machine Records; she released her debut single and video for "Tim McGraw"; and she released her debut album on October 24, 2006. Swift also finished up the last 9 dates on the Rascal Flatts tour this year and next year she is slated as the opener on the George Strait tour.

The new self-titled "Taylor Swift" debut shows a lot of emotion and hurt written down and turned
into Taylor's personal collection of songs. Take one look at her "PS" statement and it's clear that though Swift is so young, she's felt the pain and heartbreak that everyone experiences at some point in their life. "To all the boys who thought they would be cool and break my heart, guess what? Here are 11 songs written about you. HA." I guess that it's safe to say that songwriters just might write a song about any experience they have with you. Songwriters thrive on real-life experiences and it's the great thing about the craft and creation of a song. When personal feelings are involved, songs can be real easy for the writers to write and easy for the fans to identify with. Swift had a hand in writing every song on this album and they're clearly a reflection of her life so far.

Some of the lyrics are a bit intense - but it does make for a great song overall...

"You should have said no and you might still have me."
"As far as I'm concerned - you're just another picture to burn"
"When you think Tim McGraw, I hope you think of me"
"He's the reason for the teardrops on my guitar"
"And now that I'm sitting here thinking it through - I've never been anywhere cold as you."

I'm sure there will be some growth that will come with the years, but she really does have the songwriting and vocal ability to carry her even now. She has a very unique tone to her vocals... and she easily stands out in a crowd.

01 Tim McGraw
02 Picture to Burn
03 Teardrops on My Guitar
04 A Place in This World
05 Cold As You
06 The Outside
07 Tied Together With a Smile
08 Stay Beautiful
09 Should've Said No
10 Mary's Song (Oh My My My)
11 Our Song

Sunday, July 27, 2008

The Greatest Story Ever Told is the fifth studio album by American rapper David Banner



The Greatest Story Ever Told is set to be released on July 15, 2008[1]. The first single from the album is called "Speaker", better known by its explicit name "9mm". It features Snoop Dogg, Lil' Wayne and Akon. The track was produced by David Banner.[2][3] The second single has been confirmed by Banner himself to be "Get Like Me" which features Chris Brown & Yung Joc.[4] The third single is rumored to be "Shawty Say", which features Lil Wayne and samples from Lollipop, because of a photo that was leaked with the song on June 26 that looks like a music video.[5]

Banner has guest appearances lined up from Akon, Lil Wayne, Snoop Dogg, Chris Brown, UGK, Yung Joc, Chamillionaire, Carl Thomas, Jim Jones, and more. In addition to rapping, Banner will also be among his own list of producers, joining Nitti, Akon, Get Cool 3000, Warryn Campbell, Deezle and Cool and Dre, who also produced two tracks for the album, entitled "A Girl" and "Fuck You Hoes."

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Steve Winwood

Stephen Lawrence "Steve" or "Stevie" Winwood (born May 12, 1948 in Handsworth, Birmingham) is an English singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist. In addition to his solo career, he was a member of the bands the Spencer Davis Group, Traffic, Blind Faith, and Go.


While still a pupil at Great Barr School (which actor Martin Shaw also attended), Winwood was a part of the Birmingham rhythm and blues scene, playing the Hammond B-3 Organ and guitar, backing blues singers such as Muddy Waters, John Lee Hooker, T-Bone Walker, Howlin' Wolf, B. B. King, Sonny Boy Williamson II, Eddie Boyd, Otis Spann, Chuck Berry and Bo Diddley on their United Kingdom tours (the custom at that time being for US singers to travel solo and be backed by 'pick-up' bands). At this time Steve was living in Erdington close to all the Birmingham music halls he used to play.

At the age of 15 Winwood became a member of the Spencer Davis Group[1] with his older brother 'Muff' (who later had much success as a record producer). Steve co-wrote and recorded Gimme Some Lovin' and I'm a Man before leaving to form Traffic with Chris Wood, Jim Capaldi and Dave Mason. During this time, Winwood joined forces with guitarist Eric Clapton as part of the one-off group Eric Clapton's Powerhouse. Songs were recorded for the Elektra label but only three tracks were released on the compilation album, What's Shakin'.

During the late-1960s, Winwood and Mason became close friends of Jimi Hendrix. Hendrix first heard All Along the Watchtower at a party he was invited to by Mason; they recorded the Hendrix version later that night in a London recording studio. Winwood actually only appeared on one track of Electric Ladyland, "Voodoo Chile". In 1969, Winwood once again gave a powerful organ performance on Joe Cocker's With a Little Help from My Friends and later played keyboards on albums as diverse as Toots & The Maytals' Reggae Got Soul and Howlin' Wolf's The London Howlin' Wolf Sessions.

He formed Blind Faith in 1969 with Eric Clapton, Ginger Baker and Ric Grech. The band was short-lived, due to Clapton's greater interest in Blind Faith's opening act Delaney & Bonnie & Friends: Clapton left the band after the tour had ended. However, Baker, Winwood and Grech stayed together to form Ginger Baker's Air Force. The lineup consisted of basically 3/4 of Blind Faith (sans Clapton, replaced by Denny Laine), 2/3 of Traffic (Winwood and Chris Wood, minus Jim Capaldi), plus musicians who interacted with Baker in his early days, including Phil Seamen, Harold McNair and Graham Bond. But this supergroup turned out to be just another short-lived project. Winwood soon went into the studio to begin work on a new solo album, tentatively titled Mad Shadows. However, Winwood ended up calling Chris Wood and Jim Capaldi in to help with session work, which instead prompted Traffic's comeback album John Barleycorn Must Die. Winwood has always said that the sound of John Barleycorn Must Die really reflects what he had intended Traffic to be.

In 1976, Winwood played guitar on the Fania All Stars’ Delicate and Jumpy record and performed as a guest with the band in their only UK appearance, with a memorable sell-out concert at London’s Lyceum Ballroom.

Constant artistic differences and personnel changes led to Traffic's final break-up and Winwood's release of his eponymous first solo album in 1977. This was followed by his 1980 hit Arc Of A Diver (lyrics by Vivian Stanshall), and Talking Back to the Night in 1982 (both albums recorded at his home in Gloucestershire with Winwood playing all instruments). He enlisted the help of a coterie of stars to record Back in the High Life (1986) in the US, and again he was rewarded with a hit album. All were released on Island Records. In 1986, he topped the Billboard Hot 100 with Higher Love. * In his hit song While You See a Chance, in a stanza where he sings "And that old grey wind is blowing and there’s nothing left worth knowing," Winwood accidentally overdubs "nothing left..." with "no one left..." The entire track was thrown together in a relatively quick fashion, and at one point Winwood accidentally deleted the drum track introduction in preparation for vocals. (see Punching in) The keyboard introduction that he composed on the spot to replace it is now iconic.

At the peak of his commercial success, Winwood moved to Virgin Records and released Roll With It and Refugees Of The Heart. The album Roll With It and the title track hit #1 on the album and singles charts in the summer of 1988. He recorded another album with Jim Capaldi released under the Traffic name, Far From Home, then resumed his solo career with his final Virgin album Junction Seven.

In 1994, Capaldi and Winwood reunited Traffic for a new album, Far From Home, and one-off tour, including a performance at Woodstock II Festival. The same year, Winwood appears on A Tribute To Curtis Mayfield CD, recording Mayfield's It's Alright.

In 1995 and 1996, Winwood released Reach for the Light (Theme from Balto).

In 1997, Winwood released a new album, Junction Seven, toured the U.S.A. and sang with James Taylor at the VH-1 Honors.[1]

In 1998, Winwood joined Tito Puente, Arturo Sandoval, Ed Calle and other musicians to form the band Latin Crossings for a European tour, after which they split up without making any recording.

In 2003, Winwood released a new studio album, About Time co-produced by Johnson Somerset and engineered by George Shilling, on his new record label, Wincraft Music. 2004 saw his 1982 song Valerie used by DJ Eric Prydz, in a song called Call on Me. It spent five weeks at number 1 on the UK singles chart. Winwood heard an early version of Prydz' remix and liked it so much, he not only gave permission to use the song, he re-recorded[citation needed] the samples for Prydz to use. In 2005, the Soundstage Performances DVD was released, featuring his recent work from the album About Time along with his classic hits including Higher Love and Back in the High Life. Winwood also performs hits from his days with Traffic (inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2004) as well as current recordings that represent a tapestry of tastes woven after 40 years in music.

In 2005, he accepted an invitation from 2008 Grammy Award winner Ashley Cleveland to appear on her album Men and Angels Say. This album of rock, blues and country arrangements of well known hymns includes I Need Thee Every Hour which features a vocal duet and organ performance. Winwood is a fellow lover of hymns and readily accepted Ashley's invitation to appear on Men and Angels Say after the two led worship together at the Nashville church they both attend. She introduced the album with words that could help explain Steve Winwood's interest in Christian music: "This record is a love letter to my children, to my mother, to everyone who ever taught me a hymn, to the Presbyterian Church and my Scotch-English roots, to all those who love hymns and (perhaps particularly) to those who have dismissed them as antiquated and irrelevant in modern worship. I have such a deep desire to keep the hymns alive in the church."

Additionally, Christina Aguilera features Winwood on one of her songs from her 2006 record Back to Basics, called Makes Me Wanna Pray.

In July 2007, Winwood shared the stage with Eric Clapton, in Clapton's Crossroads Guitar Festival. Among the songs they played together were Presence of the Lord and Can't Find My Way Home from their Blind Faith days. Winwood played several guitar leads in a 6 song set. The two old friends and bandmates continued their collaboration with a sold-out three night stand at Madison Square Garden in February of 2008. On February 19, 2008 Winwood and Clapton released a collaborative EP through iTunes titled Dirty City.

Steve is now slated to tour with Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers during Petty's summer 2008 tour. He also has two concerts with his own band - Jose Neto (guitar), Richard Bailey (drums), Paul Booth (sax, flute and organ), Karl van den Bosch (percussion) - at the Blender Theatre, New York May 4th and Berklee College of Music May 8th. He will also be receiving an Honorary Doctorate there May 10th.

A new studio album, Nine Lives, was released April 29, 2008 on Columbia Records. On May 6, 2008, Steve made a guest appearance on "Late Night with David Letterman," with a rendition of "Dirty City." The next day, he sang it again on "The View", and followed up with a skat-sounding version of "Higher Love", with a little help from Whoopi Goldberg. [2] The album opened at #12 on the Billboard 200 album chart[3], his highest US debut ever.


and more...

Mas Que Antes

Folk: Mas Que Antes -- Download From

Da Khop Shop

Personnel includes: Mr. Short Khop, Ice Cube, Kurupt, WC, Shaquille O'Neill, Kokane, Coach Luck, Dinki Doolittle, KiDub, Nike, Problem Chyld, WC, AK. Producers include: Caviar, Battlecat, Binky, N.O. Joe, Twin. As the presence of such esteemed guest artists as Ice Cube and Kurupt might indicate, DA KHOP SHOP is pure West Coast gangsta rap. Everything about Short Khop's sound is in-your-face and hard-hitting. His aggressive rapping style is so forceful and confrontational that it seems almost intentionally over-the-top. The beats and arrangements he employs eschew such genteel concepts as funk and danceability in favor of sheer power, the beats landing squarely with the force of a rifle shot. Amid all the depictions of violence and unabashed hedonism, Mr. Short Khop's almost-cartoonish delivery adds an ironic element of humor. He comes off like some kind of crazed hip-hop auctioneer looking for the highest bidder on his tales of gangsta life.

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Music from Romeo And Juliette by Gerard Presgurvic

Roméo et Juliette: de la Haine à l'Amour is a French musical based on William Shakespeare's play Romeo and Juliet, with music and lyrics by Gérard Presgurvic. It premiered in Paris on January 19, 2001. The production was directed and choreographed by Redha, with costumes by Dominique Borg and settings by Petrika Ionesco. The producers were Gérard Louvin, GLEM, and Universal Music.

Since then, the musical has been performed in Canada, Antwerp, London, Amsterdam, Budapest, Szeged, Moscow, Vienna, Seoul, Pusan (South Korea), and Taipei and has been translated into several languages, including Flemish, Hungarian, Russian, English, and German.

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Differences from Shakespeare's plot include that almost everyone is aware of the lovers' "secret" marriage, and the nature of the lovers' deaths is different, depending on the production. Lord Montague is only seen in the British production, and new characters such as Death (French, Belgian, Netherlands, and Moscow productions only) and the Poet (French production only) appear for dramatic effect. Lady Capulet has a greatly increased role and is more often than not the voice of reason. The role of Tybalt has changed slightly from being purely dark to a more pitiful character because of his growing up with the hate and a dark childhood, as well as an unrequited attraction to Juliet.


Act 1

A long-standing feud between the two leading families of the city of Verona, the Montagues and the Capulets, regularly erupts into violence on the city's streets. Irritated, the Prince of Verona decrees, on pain of death, the absolute prohibition on fighting in the city (Vérone). While Lady Capulet and Lady Montague denounce the violence of the two clans (La haine), Romeo (the sole heir of the Montagues) and Juliet (the daughter of the Capulets) are hopelessly in search for love (Un jour).

At the Capulets, a ball is being held so that Juliet can meet Count Paris, who asked Lord Capulet for her hand (La demande en mariage, Tu dois te marier). In Verona, Romeo and his friends, Benvolio and Mercutio, hang about the streets (Les rois du monde, La folie). Romeo is afraid of... he doesn't really know, but he's afraid (J'ai peur). In the hope of distracting him, Benolio and Mercutio, persuade him to accompany them, in disguise, to a ball being held at the house of the Capulets (Le bal). At his first sight of Juliet, the daughter of the Capulets, Romeo instantly falls in love with her, without knowing who she is (L'amour heureux). Tybalt recognize Romeo and informs Juliet's parents. Romeo and Juliet learn from the Nurse who they are (Le bal 2). Tybalt, broken (he loves Juliet in secret), acknowledges that he is the son of hate and contempt (C'est pas ma faute).

After the ball, Juliet takes refuge in her room and dreams of Romeo (Le poète), who woos her at great personal risk in the Capulets' garden. They exchange lovers' vows and plan to marry in secret as soon as possible (Le balcon). Knowing that their families will never agree to their marriage, Romeo meets Friar Lawrence and asks him to marry them. He accepts hoping that this union will reconcile the two families (Par amour).

In the morning, Romeo meets his friends and tells the Nurse, who everyone makes fun of (Les beaux, les laids), that Friar Lawrence will marry them the following afternoon. The Nurse, who deeply loves Juliet as her own daughter, announces the good news to Juliet (Et voilà qu'elle aime). Finally, Romeo and Juliet are married (Aimer).

Act 2

The next day, Benvolio and Mercutio meet Romeo : they accuse him of betrayal (On dit dans la rue). Out on the streets of Verona, Tybalt-unaware of his new blood tie to Romeo- searches Romeo (C'est le jour) and when he finds him, challenges him to a fight, which Romeo refuses (Le duel). Mercutio takes up the challenge and is mortally wounded. Driven by guilt, vengeance and youthful-hotheadedness, Romeo kills Tybalt (Mort de Mercutio). The two families, plunged into mourning, ask for revenge to the Prince (La vengeance). Finally, he banishes Romeo from Verona and thinks about the political power (Le pouvoir). In her bedroom, Juliet learns the bad news from the Nurse. She is torn between the love for her cousin and for her husband. Romeo goes at Friar Lawrence's. He thinks banishment is worse than death (Duo du désespoir).

Romeo and Juliet spend their wedding night together and Romeo makes his escape to Mantua (Le chant de l'alouette). Hardly after her husband has left Juliet is informed by her parents that she is to be married to Paris. She refuses and they threaten to disown her (Demain). Upset, Lord Capulet sings the love he has for his daughter (Avoir une fille). In her room, Juliet asks why he has to obey (Pourquoi). In Mantua, Romeo thinks of Juliet. In desperation, she turns to Friar Lawrence, who devises an ingenious plan, which he hopes will ultimately bring a happy ending for both the lovers and their two families (Sans elle).

Juliet appears to go along with the marriage plans but, in the night before the wedding, she takes the drug prepared by Friar Lawrence which make her appear as if death (Le poison). Juliet is duly laid in the family vault, hoping to wake up to find Romeo waiting for her. Unfortunately, The Friar's message telling Romeo of the plan somehow goes astray, and instead he hears only from Benvolio that his wife Juliet is dead (Comment lui dire).

Grief stricken, he breaks into the Capulet vault, finds what he believes to be the mortal remains of his beloved, and takes poison to be reunited with her in death (Mort de Roméo). Soon afterwards, Juliet awakes to find his husband dead and she stabs herself with Romeo's dagger (La mort de Juliette). Friar Lawrence enters the vault and finds the two lovers dead. He complains to God (J'sais plus). When the whole story is told, the two devastated families agree henceforward to live in peace (Coupables).<

Original French cast

Romeo (Roméo) (until 23/06/02) Damien Sargue; (from 8/11/02) Vincent Eliott
Juliet (Juliette): Cécilia Cara
Benvolio: Grégori Baquet
Mercutio: Philippe d'Avilla
Tybalt: Tom Ross
Lady Montague: Eléonore Beaulieu
Lady Capulet (until 17/11/01) Isabelle Ferron; (from 18/11/01) Karoline Blandin
The Nurse (La Nurse) (until 23/06/02) Réjane Perry; (from 8/11/02) Rachel Pignot
Lord Capulet (Comte Capulet): Sébastien Chato
Friar Lawrence (Frère Laurent): Jean-Claude Hadida
The Prince (Le Prince de Vérone): Frédéric Charter
Paris (until 23/06/02) Essaï; (from 8/11/02) Philippe Candelon
The Poet (Le Poète): Serge Le Borgne
Death (La Mort) Anne Mano; then Béatrice Warrand[1]


Singers are listed with the name of their character, as following: R : Roméo
J : Juliette
B : Benvolio
M : Mercutio
T : Tybalt
LM : Lady Montaigu
LC : Lady Capulet
CC : Comte Capulet
LN : La Nurse
PV : Le Prince de Vérone
FL : Frère Laurent
LP : Le Poète
P : Paris
LaM : La Mort
GP : Gérard Presgurvic
LT : La Troupe

Acte 1 Acte 2
Ouverture (GP) "On dit dans la rue" (R, M & B)
"Vérone" (PV) "C'est le jour" (T)
"La Haine" (LC & LM) "Le Duel" (M, T, & R)
"Un Jour" (R & J) "Mort de Mercutio" (M & R)
"La Demande en mariage" (P & CC) "La Vengeance" (CC, LM, PV & R)
"Tu dois te marier" (LC & LN) "Le Pouvoir" (PV)
"Les Rois du monde" (R, B & M) "Duo du désespoir" (LN & FL)
"La Folie" (M, R & B) "Le Chant de l'alouette" (R & J)
"J'ai peur" (R) "Demain" (CC, LC, J & LN)
"Le Bal" (instrumental) "Avoir une fille" (CC)
"L'Amour heureux" (R & J) "Pourquoi" (J)
"Le Bal 2" (instrumental) "Sans Elle" (R & J)
"C'est pas ma faute" (T) "Le Poison" (J)
"Le Poète" (LP & J) "Comment lui dire" (B)
"Le Balcon" (R & J) "Mort de Roméo" (R)
"Par amour" (FL, R & J) "La Mort de Juliette" (J)
"Les Beaux, les Laids" (LN, B & M) "J'sais plus" (FL)
"Et voilà qu'elle aime" (LN) "Coupables" (final) (LC, LM, LN & LT)
"Aimer" (R & J) --

Notes :
- "La folie" and "Pourquoi" were sung until Jun. 27, 2001. They can be found on the L'Integrale recording and the second disc of some DVD recordings.
- "Sans elle" is sung only by Roméo on the cast recording, but by Roméo and Juliette during the show
- Curtain calls were "Aimer", "Vérone" (punctually) and "Les rois du monde"


Productions of the musical have included the following: [2]

  • "Roméo et Juliette: de la Haine à l'Amour" (Jan. 19, 2001 - Dec. 21, 2002)/(June 18, 2002 - Sep. 21, 2002) -- (Paris, Palais des Congrès) and French-Canadian tour (opening at Montreal, Théâtre St-Denis). The French-Canadian cast included[3] Romeo (Roméo) was Hugo, and Juliet (Juliette) was played by Ariane Gauthier. Direction and choreography was by Jean Grand-Maître.
  • "Romeo en Julia: van Haat tot Liefde" (Sep. 22, 2002 - March 16, 2003)/(Jan. 27, 2004 - Apr. 25, 2004) -- (Antwerp, Stadsschouwburg Theatre) and Netherlands Tour. The cast included[4] Davy Gilles as Romeo and Veerle Casteleyn as Juliet. Direction and cChoreography were by Redha.
  • "Romeo and Juliet: the Musical" (Oct. 18, 2002 - Feb. 8, 2003) -- (London, Piccadilly Theatre). The cast included[5] Andrew Bevis as Romeo and Lorna Want (later Zara Dawson) as Juliet. The translation was by Don Black, direction and choreography were by David Freeman, and musical staging was by Redha.
  • "Rómeó és Júlia" (Jan. 23, 2004 - the Present) -- (Budapest, Budapest Operetta Theatre). The cast included,[6] as Romeo (Rómeó), Dolhai Attila (01/2004-), György Rózsa Sándor (01/2004-06/2005, 09/2006-06/2007), Bálint Ádám (09/2004-), and Száraz Tamás (09/2006-); and as Juliet (Júlia), Szinetár Dóra (01/2004-), Mahó Andrea (01/2004-06/2006), Vágó Bernadett (09/2006-), and Vágó Zsuzsi (09/2006-). Direction was by Kerényi Miklós Gábor, and choreography was by Duda Éva.
  • January 27th, 2004 (Rotterdam, Nieuwe Luxor Theatre). In the Netherlands / Belgium tour version, the cast included[7] Davy Gilles as Romeo and Jennifer Van Brenk as Juliet. Direction and choreography were by Redha.
  • "Roméo i Juliette: ot Nenavist do Lubvi" (May 20, 2004 - June 12, 2006) -- Russian (Moscow, Moscow Operetta Theatre). The cast included[8] Eduard Shuljevskii as Romeo (Ромео) and Sofia Nigjaradze as Juliet (Джульетта).
  • "Romeo und Julia: das Musical" (Feb. 24, 2005 - July 8, 2006) -- Austrian (Vienna, Raimund Theatre). The cast included[9] Lukas Perman as Romeo and Marjan Shaki as Juliet. Tybalt was Mark Seibert. Direction and choreography were by Redha.
  • "Roméo et Juliette 2007" (Jan. 20, 2007 - Mar. 21, 2007)/(Apr. 5, 2007 - Apr. 21, 2007) -- Asia Tour. The cast included[10] Damien Sargue as Romeo and Joy Esther as Juliet. Direction and choreography were by Redha.

Differences among productions

Below are descriptions of differences among productions in the treatment of the deaths of Romeo and Juliet.[11]

  • In the original French production, after Romeo sings "Mort de Romeo", the character known as "Death" kills Romeo with a kiss. When Juliet wakes up to find him dead, she sings "La Mort de Juliette" Death then hands her Romeo's dagger, which she uses to kill herself. The Belgian/Dutch version follows this treatment.
  • French Canadian version: After singing "Mort de Romeo", Romeo drinks a poison and falls lifeless in front of Juliet's "death bed"; Juliet then finds him dead, and with his head on her lap she sings "La Mort de Juliette" and then kills herself with Romeo's dagger.
  • British version: Romeo and Juliet both kill themselves with Romeo's dagger.
  • Hungarian version: Taking Juliet into a harnest, Romeo hangs himself as he is strapped to Juliet. Juliet kills herself with Romeo's dagger, but she slits her wrists instead of bringing the dagger into her stomach.
  • Russian version: Death "sucks the life" out of Romeo. So, he basically just puts his lips together and sucks his breath in. Juliette kills herself with Romeo's dagger.
  • Austrian version: Romeo drinks a vial of poison, and similar to Romeo + Juliet, Juliet wakes up just in time to watch him die. She kills herself with Romeo's dagger.

Costume designs in the various productions are influenced by local renaissance costume traditions.


After both winning Oscars for the brilliant, moving Life is Beautiful in 1997, the respective careers of Roberto Benigni and Nicola Piovani didn't take off as some - perhaps themselves included - may have predicted. Now, mention Benigni's name to your average moviegoer and you will probably be greeted by either a wide smile or a furious grimace, such is the difference of opinion he generated both by his movie Life is Beautiful and his antics at the various award shows. It took him five years to follow it up, but Pinocchio finally arrived in Italy 2002. It has received only the most limited of releases Stateside (with the somewhat horrendous prospect of the voices being dubbed by the likes of James Belushi, Glenn Close, John Cleese, Eric Idle and even Regis Philbin), and so far hasn't been released at all in the UK, so I haven't seen it, but it does appear to be as lavish and bright as you may expect.

Piovani always scores Benigni's movies. And he found a winning formula with Life is Beautiful, so why change it? He's written a very similar score this time around, though it obviously eschews the darker passages, with a bright and breezy tone throughout. At times it brings to mind Nino Rota's scores for Federico Fellini, with the same inherent charm present throughout. Virtually the whole score is based on two themes, heard in "The Blue Fairy" and "The Puppet" in the first two tracks. Each is infectious, memorable and really quite delightful.

Unfortunately, as an album at least, the score's downside is that it is just too repetitive. Even at a shade over 45 minutes it outlives its welcome. For a time you get a fantasy score pretty much in the league of Edward Scissorhands, but after a while you come to realise that what you are hearing is pretty much exactly the same as what you heard a few minutes ago, and for that matter not a whole lot removed from other Piovani scores of the past. A vocal version of the main theme, sung by Benigni, doesn't help either. I hope he doesn't sing very often. There are of course a few treats along the way - the playful "The Cricket", rapturous "Pinocchio's Walk" and carnival "Funforeverland" prominent among them.

Pinocchio has moments of real beauty, but it features too little base material, with the result that it ends up just being spread too thin. Fans of Life is Beautiful's score will find much of the same, and I'm sure will enjoy this a lot, but I don't think it can quite be put in the same league.

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