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Alessio Bondi - Nivuru

  by Lisa Torem

published: 22 / 2 / 2019

Alessio Bondi - Nivuru
Label: 800A
Format: CD


Superb second album from Alessio Bondi which finds the Sicilian singer-songwriter reaching new heights as a communicator of depth and tenderness

In 2017, Alessio Bondi’s debut, ‘Sfardo’ was released in ten countries and the album lyrics were translated into six. He’s a singer whose contemporary critical acclaim is well-deserved and whose lush material is not-to-be missed. The Sicilian singer-songwriter’s themes on his sophomore album, ‘Nivuru’, won’t be comprehended lyrically by non-native speakers, but the incredible vibe and spirit come through this work regardless, and this multi-instrumentalist will share his gifts in the spring of 2019 when he graces popular UK stages to sing about his country’s gorgeous landscapes, volcanic eruptions and the many facets of the vulnerable human heart. The first track, ‘A Ghidara’ is a stunning metaphor: "Your body is a guitar/That doesn’t let me sleep/It’s inside the walls/It’s on the roof." His fanatical feelings seep through in the jangly guitars and virulent rhythms. ‘Dammi Una Vasata’ is lighter here, but no less bright. His voice is samba soft as are the lulling chords that float underneath it. As the song continues, that voice flirts precociously with the driving percussion. Nothing is lost in this translation. ‘Si Fussi Fimmina’ is uniquely otherworldly; gentle and persuasive as Bondi’s muscular voice reveals the upper range of his yearning tenor before settling back to a comforting plateau. Alessandro Presti’s trumpet takes a provocative spin, adding an additional layer of spice. The simply titled ‘Café’, “a classic break-up song”, sets the stage, quietly and warmly before a vivid explosion erupts and 'Tita' chimes in with illustrative backing vocals. Then ‘Savatu’ circles back to a jazzy groove. Bondi’s voice crackles and snaps as the rhythm makers hash it out. In addition, there’s an abundance of word play here that’s wildly entertaining. Bondi’s one-off phrasing is also magnificent. On ‘Un Favuri’, he sustains an ever-soulful melody. ‘L’Amuri Miu Pi Tia’ is a sweeping guitar-driven lullaby; Bondi’s expressive voice is arguably perfect, as he yields to call and response with flute and trumpet. Light as falling snow, the arrangement of ‘Puddicinu A Luna’ confirms Bondi’s beguiling sincerity. Over way too soon, ‘A Ghidara’ closes with ‘Nivi Nivura’ (Black Snow), which, as a stand-alone is delightful, but which also serves to consolidate and crystalise all the excellence that preceded it.

Track Listing:-
1 Ghidara
2 Dammi una vasata
3 Si fussi fimmina
4 Café
5 Savutu
6 Un favuri
7 L'amuri miu pi tia
8 Puddicinu a luna
9 Nivi nivura

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