GianFranco Lo Schiavo – “Meravigliosamente”/”Trovati a Parlare”

 GianFranco Lo Schiavo – “Meravigliosamente”/”Trovati a Parlare”

GianFranco Lo Schiavo – “Meravigliosamente”/”Trovati a Parlare” – Singles Review

Good times, good times…GianFranco Lo Schiavo has got a couple of solid tunes on his hands with his latest singles, proving to have that crossover ability & appeal that an international artist often needs to have in order to translate from place to place over the airwaves & internet.  He comes to us from a familiar source as well!  Artist-turned-producer Mario Marco Farinato has created himself a new independent label – MF Productions – and not only has he assisted in helping GianFranco’s music get out there, but you’ll also see him in the video for “Trovati a Parlare” playing the banjo.  Well…not just playing the banjo either I suppose, he plays the cello as well on that single – but perhaps most importantly, by the end of the video as you’ll see onscreen, he gives this tune the all-important thumbs-up of approval.  So you know he’s satisfied with how it turned out!  Let’s see what these songs are like…

Stylistically, “Trovati a Parlare” is probably more my kind of tune overall when comparing the two singles.  GianFranco brings a ton of personality, passion, and heart to his performance, both in how he sings the song, but also in the way he plays it as well.  No surprise that GianFranco is a capable and confident musician – Mario Marco is as well…it only makes sense that talent attracts talent and that these two would be a great pairing to collaborate and make music together.  Of the two tracks here in review today, I also think that “Trovati a Parlare” has a better mix to the sound, the advantage of a sweeter melody, and arguably hooks that are going to catch the attention of a larger audience than “Meravigliosamente” likely will.  Both strong tunes for sure, but there’s a comforting vibe that runs throughout “Trovati a Parlare” that I think a ton of people out there will connect with.  Oddly enough, if I had to pick a song that this single from GianFranco reminds me of, it’s actually Blink 182’s “Dammit” – which, if you listen, is obviously a completely different song/style altogether.  That being said, if you listen to the flow of the chorus & melody of each song and how the progression works, despite the difference in pace, I bet you’ll hear the similarities between the two.  And give an old guy like me some credit when you do hear the comparisons that can be made…given that the two songs are still essentially miles apart in their end results, it took me a freakin’ long time to figure out what song “Trovati a Parlare” was reminding me of!  Anyhow.  I dig the way GianFranco sings this one for the most part…I like that there’s an edge to his style of Pop and a grittiness in his voice that enhances the sound; he could maybe choose to smooth all that out even further…maybe.  Either way, it wouldn’t be something I’d recommend, I think it brings a lot to GianFranco’s sound & style and suits him really well.  It gives the song an added humbleness by not taking that realness of his expression out through production or a million takes – I think it works to the advantage of the sincerity in this song and is a large part of the appealing sound we hear that connects us to the heart of “Trovati a Parlare.”  I was probably the most on the fence about the bridge & whether or not that worked; I felt like GianFranco ended it strong, but there are a few more questionable moments vocally on the way to that point as he gets a bit more excited right around where the music surrounding him dials back as well.  So don’t get me wrong – you can tell what he’s going for there…it’s that dramatic moment where the music backs off and the singer gets the spotlight; a classic move that’s been made throughout history – but one that needs to be examined carefully for the end results.  When things get more spacious in the music and it’s left up to the vocals to carry the song – those are the moments you want to be most critical of and make sure that what we’re hearing is the best of what you’ve got, because it’s right out there for all to hear more clearly in a moment like that than at any other point in the song.  Best way I can put it is that what GianFranco’s doing there still works…it might not be the shining moment of the tune that it could have potentially been, but it’s still a great part in the song that certainly reveals his passionate approach.  And as far as the rest of the song goes, I think he’s exactly where he wants to be, sounds great, and has a real humble honesty in his voice that a lot of people will really enjoy.  Certainly no question at all about his abilities & skills as a musician, you can hear a highlight solo from GianFranco right after that bridge and multiple moments of instrumentation along the way that confirms the dude is definitely a killer player.  Plus…I dunno…call me crazy, but I’ve always loved the videos that have come from Mario Marco in the past and the way he shoots things…often quite simple, but so highly effective when it comes to seeing the real personalities of the people behind the music.  “Trovati a Parlare” has all his signature stamps on it when it comes to the visuals…brilliant clarity and character onscreen everywhere you look – it’s genuinely entertaining & retains an inherent sweetness that shows just how much fun these two have making music, even if that’s unintentional.  You can simply see it in the way they play.  Loved the addition of the banjo from Mario Marco into this tune – and onscreen, just seeing the two of them in a room together, doing what they love most, really brought the specialness of this melody to the surface.

As far as “Meravigliosamente” goes, it’s another good tune for sure, this time in a more amped-up style and approach from GianFranco, who handles all the instrumentation & vocals of this second song.  If we’re talking production-wise…everything comes out pretty good, but there’s definitely a noticeable volume drop on this song compared to the first that’ll have you turning this one up way louder to compete.  That’s an easy issue to sort out though, so no point in dwelling on that, just turn it up!  There is part of me that feels like music-up/vocals-down a bit might have benefitted the entire wild punk/pop spirit of “Meravigliosamente” just a bit more & brought the exceptional musicianship to the forefront more powerfully…it’s definitely a huge aspect and asset of GianFranco’s music that you don’t want to get lost in the mix for sure.  Having him right up front on the vocals in the mix is gonna be a great decision on those moments & songs where he’s without question the main star of the show – but on a track like “Meravigliosamente” you’ll probably feel like it’s a much more even split between the music & vocals in terms of what attracts your attention hooks-wise.  So no real difference there than when you’re playing a show with a band of equal popularity on a live stage – when both parts bring that same level of clout, equal billing is more often the best route to go…and the same works for a song like this.  For the most part, I think GianFranco does a great job with the vocals again…but I’d advise that same caution when it comes to the more subtle moments of the music surrounding him, and making sure that those moment become his most memorable and stunning as well.  He writes music with the right dynamics that will give him that opportunity to really make an impact on us – now it’s all about making sure he’s giving the performances everything he can to go with it.  Take the verse around the 1:40-ish mark for example; he’s wandered a bit far away from the melody & tone he’s looking for here and allowed that energy he brings to every other moment of this song to disintegrate a little.  In terms of a partnership between production and performer – these are going to become the most crucial conversations that Mario Marco will likely have to have with GianFranco; you’ll never want to take out that live-vibe and raw energy that he brings to the microphone of course, but he will need that important advice on when he’s getting too wild with it or pushes himself just a bit further over the line than what’s really going to work.  In the most intense parts of a song like “Meravigliosamente,” that variation in tone is much more easily accepted by listening ears with so much else going on; in those more serene breaks or where the music isn’t as full around him, those are the key moments to make sure GianFranco’s best are what we hear.  Video-wise, “Meravigliosamente” has a lot of fun with its themes and concepts behind an awkward tale of love gone wrong, loosely threaded around scenes you’ll see in a barber shop & outside in the forest.  So…I mean…yeah…with it being in another language other than my own…I can’t 100% say for sure I get all the tie-ins between the storyline and what would take him from getting a haircut to heading outside with the trees & all…but it IS fun to watch!  Plus that barber did a great job lining GianFranco up – that’s a sharp haircut right there for sure and money well spent.  The video definitely adds to the energetic & fun vibe of “Meravigliosamente” and heightens the experience through the lighthearted onscreen antics – and I think musically, melody & idea-wise, there’s a ton here for all to enjoy.

Find out more about what’s up with MF Productions at Mario Marco Farinato’s new page at Facebook here:  https://www.facebook.com/MFFanzine

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Jer@SBS

http://sleepingbagstudios.ca

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