ELISA

4 December 2008

Elisa is nice music.  It makes a complete change from the kora playing Toumani Diabaté and guitar wizardry of Viuex Farka Touré and his dad, Ali, that I have listening to recently LOL. talk about contrast!

The album I’m listening to just now is her Greatest Hits (1996 to 2006), which is good for showing the range and variety of Ms. Toffoli over a whole decade. I had read that she was set to relaunch in the USA this year, but had problems with her visa.  So I checked out her website (www.elisatoffoli.com/), and its full of North American dates.

I would like to hear her famous version of Leonard Cohen’s ‘Hallelujah’; I have always admired Jeff Buckley’s version (who doesn’t?), and my wife recently showed me a YouTube video of some Norwegians (Espen Lind, Askil Holm, Alejandro Fuentes, and Big Kurt Nilsen — the blond chap with the spaced out teeth that won “World Idol”) after we heard KD Lang’s and John Cale’s versions.

Elisa duets on the recording with the much more famous Luciano Ligabue on ‘Gli Ostacoli Del Cuore’, and I have actually managed to track down a live video of this song — where Ligabue appears in person!

Superb stuff —

… but the promotional video is fascinating because she doesn’t seem to care that she’s filmed in a bad light, with a bad haircut and no make-up.  She’s obviously not vain.  She’s dressed like a boy, but acts very much like a girl with a broken heart.

Courageous anyway (especially taking a shower fully dressed)…

It’s a lovely chorus:

Quante cose che non sai di me;
Quante cose che non puoi sapere;
Quante cose da portare nel viaggio insieme.

How very true that is. Obstacles of the heart indeed; some people tend to be too complicated at times, sometimes things seem too complex.

‘Stay’ is a superb start to the album, and betrays her Californian education at Berkeley. ‘Broken’ and ‘Swan’ continue the country rock feel.  Her famous head-voice is well represented on this album. She ought to do well in the USA.

For me, I prefer her Italian stuff as it adds something fresh to a mode that is getting a bit tired for me — ‘Luce (tramonti a nord est)’ was her first song in Italian — it was initially written in English (and was a bit of a hit on MTV Europe). It was actually translated in collaboration with her mother and also with Ruth’s fave, Zucchero.

‘Eppure Sentire (Un Senso Di Te)’ is a lovely ballad, and last year’s bit hit, ‘Qualcosa Che Non C’è ‘is a simply beautiful song, very reflective/ introspective/ autobiographical. She holds a very long note at the end of ‘Una Poesia Anche Per Te (Life Goes On)’ very much along the lines of KD Lang. Worth a listen anyday!

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4 Responses to “ELISA”

  1. LabDaddy Says:

    Here’s a video of Elisa’s performance of ‘Hallelujah’ on her recent North American tour:

    Enjoy!

  2. davedevine Says:

    Thanks for that! Unfortunately this song is forever tainted by being the TV singing competition, the X-factor, 2008 winner’s song. This no doubt means that it will be No1 in the pop charts for Christmas and be on all the radio playlists! Aaargh!

  3. Julia Says:

    Cales cover av “Hallelujah” (1991) har använts i bland annat filmerna Basquiat – den svarte rebellen (1996) och Shrek (2001) samt på den officiella soundtrackskivan för TV-serien Scrubs.


  4. […] computer file, the renewed interest in the media (mainly around “Hallelujah” and Cohen, Elisa, Burke etc) a couple of years ago.  But  I have no idea why I didn’t think of looking up […]


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