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  • Sanremo Festival: Music to Your Ears
    Our Paesani

    by Francesca Di Meglio

    MARCH 6, 2005 - The 55th annual Sanremo Music Festival ended yesterday by breaking ratings records with a 55.8 percent share or 13,606,000 viewers. The day after the festival is always bittersweet - on the one hand, Italians are experiencing the afterglow of discovering new music and, on the other, they are preparing for the inevitable playing out of these songs on radio and TV.

    The distinction between which songs will have commercial success and the winners is great. Italians around the world could tune into the historic music festival on RAI International and, as usual, everyone has their own opinion about which singer and song should have taken top honors. Here are some of the ones I recommend:

    Francesco Renga, "Angelo": This one was not my favorite but it won at the festival and is therefore a must hear. The song is about loss but also rebirth. It gives you hope. Famous for his expressive voice - and wild hair - Renga might also prove to be a hit with the ladies. Renga does not have the world fame of some of his competitors but that could all change now that he has won Italy's most prestigious music festival. Watch out!

    Gigi D'Alessio, "L'amore che non c'e'": I was hoping D'Alessio would win with his typically heartfelt rendition of a sad, sad love song. But he came in second place. I mostly wanted him to win because I've always adored his music. (I might be bias because he comes from Napoli!) But he really did do a fabulous job of performing the song from Sanremo's famed Ariston stage. He gives you the goose bumps and that's what music is all about.

    Paolo Meneguzzi, "Non capivo che l'amava": Meneguzzi has been entrancing me with his songs since his appearance at the festival last year. And I really thought he should have won this time around. I was shocked when he was dropped to fourth place and rendered out of the competition. But even the critics noted that his song had much more commercial value than the others and that young people will probably send it rising to the top of the charts. The wheels already seem to be in motion. Meneguzzi released his new album featuring "Non capivo che l'amava" on the very day he was eliminated from Sanremo.

    Anna Tatangelo, "Ragazza di Preferia": Tatangelo is blossoming into a beautiful young woman. She gets prettier everyday and snagged third place in the woman's category but deserved first. I predict she too will have commercial success with this timeless story about a young girl's coming of age.

    DJ Francesco Band, "Francesca": This cute song rightfully was eliminated because it's sugary pop song with a great beat to which you can dance. But it is worth a place in your heart. And, of course, the song's title is pretty nice, too. Ok, this time I'm definitely biased!

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