Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Senza Zucchero, per favore!

Note: While cleaning up some disk space, I found this rant, which I wrote in 2009. I usually hang at a different coffee shop these days, so I'm not subjected to this particular irritant as much as I once was, but my opinion hasn't changed since then. ~W

I'm of Italian descent. I drink espresso every morning. I enjoy Italian food and culture, and embrace and cherish my heritage.

But I have a confession to make. 

I can't stand Zucchero.

For those who haven't heard of Zucchero, he's an Italian rock singer, and is probably the country's most popular performer. Everyone I hang out with at the coffee shop is crazy about him, and most mornings they've got one of his discs on the sound system. Good friends with high musical standards continually tell me I should give his music another listen.

I tried. I really tried. 

After several excruciating sessions with a "best-of" collection, I'm left with the same impression I've had all along: that this bozo's music is nothing more than middle-of-the-road "classic rock," loaded with corny duets (Sting, Pavarotti, Clapton, Elton John, etc.) and Journeyesque Boltonisms (or, if you prefer, Boltonesque Journeyisms).

The guy's so incredibly hammy that "Prosciutto" would have been a more appropriate stage name.
In fact, if Zucchero were an English-language performer, I'd wager that most of the rabid Italophiles who worship at his chest-beating altar wouldn't pay him any attention. He gets an undeserved pass simply because of his nationality.

Anything that's the most popular in its category merits of an extra measure of skepticism, and Zucchero is no exception. I can't get behind anyone who covers "You Are So Beautiful" in earnest. It's a bit too "Italian Idol" for me.

I'm sorry, mi amici, but I still say that zucchero belongs in my espresso, not my iPod.


  1. I've never heard of him. Thanks for the warning.

  2. Zucchero wrote some good songs in his early career, and then became a Joe Cocker clone, without Joe Cocker voice. By the way, most popular performer in Italy is Vasco Rossi, and don't worry, he is worst then Zucchero. Sorry for my prosciutto english:)

  3. Thank you, Senility. I'll be sure to avoid Vasco Rossi!

    I'd also welcome any recommendations for Italian music that I might enjoy. My knowledge is limited to Italian movie composers, and a few singers (Paolo Conti, Carmen Consoli, and Vinicio Capossela, all of whom I like).

    Your English is just fine, by the way!