BANCO DEL MUTUO SOCCORSO: BUONE NOTIZIE (1981)
1) Taxi; 2) Canzone D'Amore; 3) Si, Ma Si; 4) Buona Notte, Sogni D'Oro; 5) Baciami Alfredo; 6) Michele E Il Treno; 7) AM-FM; 8) Buone Notizie.
If possible, this is even more «pop» than its predecessor. Now there aren't even any of those stupid «monster riffs» like the one that opened ʽSenza Riguardoʼ, nor any attempts to preserve their jazz-fusion legacy like ʽFeliceʼ. Every single track you can dance to, sometimes in slower, sometimes in faster motion, and everything is almost unbearably, disgustingly happy — in an odd contrast with the sleeve photo, where the band members choose to look like a band of captured partigiani, grimly preparing to meet the firing squad.
I will not deny that the arrangements are not always awful, or that the songs are not always hookless. They could have done a lot worse: this upbeat, playful, New Wave-influenced vibe that they latch on is at least much better than choosing to drown themselves in saccharine balladry or update the «San Remo vibe» by refueling the pomp with synthesizer arrangements — both of these options would be very easy to implement, and the consequences would have been absolutely horrendous. Thus, in a way, this particular mode of selling out is probably the least painful way in which they could sell out at the moment.
This does not, however, remove the basic problem — these are simply stupid songs, as in «stupid stupid», not «cutely stupid» or «charmingly stupid» or even «silly stupid». Even if your Italian is good enough to understand such witty lines as "Ho un libro di Bukowsky sull'eiaculazione" (ʽTaxiʼ), it does not save the situation. The texts, overall, try to be impressionistic, educated, and, occasionally, socially relevant, but they are set to such «slap-happy» arrangements that any attempt to get a «message» out of them will be spiritually blocked. All they do is simply invite you to jump on the spot like a two-year old, in an incomprehensible paroxysm of rhythmic joy. Fast ones like ʽSi, Ma Siʼ and the title track are the worst of the lot, but slower lullabies like ʽBuona Notte, Sogni D'Oroʼ do not actually change the mood — they are less idiotic, but more boring.
By the general standards of mainstream Italian dance-pop, this is fairly decent quality, I guess: with keyboards and guitars still striving for modestly complex melodicity, and with DiGiacomo still in full control of his voice, the album is technically accomplished. But its rhythmic base is absolutely, utterly primitive, its emotional impact is negligible, and its hooks stupid and meaningless. Consequently, yet another thumbs down — and by now, it seems all but impossible that the band will ever get a chance to see the light once again.