May 10, 2005

Tonight, after years of meaning to do this, I re-acquired The Best of Paolo Conte and now all's well with the world again. (I should have known that once I loaned it out I'd never get it back.)

I was worried that if I heard this stuff again I'd find it too "whimsical" and "wonderful" and ya know my least favorite thing about middlebrow European culture is the Amelie force-lumps-of-sugar-down-your-throat approach to life. But no, Conte really is a classy affair. What I really dig about him most of all is his piano playing -- there's that same sorta home-schooled vaudeville plink-plunk sloppiness Randy Newman has on "Simon Smith and the Amazing Dancing Bear." And when you add in the Gainsbourg/Waits/Walter Matthau gruff, bemused voice and the '80s Leonard Cohen production values... only good can come.

I wouldn't normally post mp3s of something so widely available, but hell, it's been seven years since this record made Conte a cult star over here, and I'm sure there are plenty of people who either didn't catch the boat the first time or forgot all about him. If you'd rather go about it the legal way, there are clips on the Amazon page I linked to above.

Paolo Conte - "Gelato al Limon"
Paolo Conte - "Alle Prese Con Una Verde Milonga"
Paolo Conte - "Hemingway" (warning: do not download unless you like the sax solos on "Baker Street")


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