The weight of the instrumental prowess is certainly familiar, as is the elegance of the arrangement that will soon come together before our very ears, but in its totality, there’s something very different about both Giorgia Fumanti and the song “Quand on Prie La Bonne Etoile” as they’re presented together in the new album Cinema Collection. As you might be able to guess, Cinema Collection is a record full of cover songs handpicked by Fumanti to demonstrate not only her capabilities as a singer and an arranger but as well as a student of the greater influence of music in film. In songs like this one, and perhaps even more prominently,
the stunner “Un Jour Tu Reviendras,” she’s made all the more potent by the spotlight for a performance that feels startlingly imposing for how simple the material is, but as she can prove in “Now We Are Free,” this singer isn’t dependent on a simplistic compositional model when it comes to maxing out the chills-factor in the studio. From these works to the more reserved “Les Feuilles Mortes,” this is an art project designed to please the fans, and though I’m not usually a fan of covered material, there’s nary a stitch of content in this tracklist that hasn’t left me wanting more.
“Take My Breath Away” has always been one of the most searing songs in the modern pop songbook, and while her instrumental approach to the composition is a little stock, the vocal Giorgia Fumanti puts down in this track gave me shivers down my spine the first time I listened to it. She’s channeling a thousand layers of soul-pop and soft rock charismas of the most instinctual variety in this song, and despite a moderate hesitance at the hook, she manages to turn every move she makes into an element of communication aimed directly at connecting with the listeners.
“Stranger in Paradise” hits some similar high notes aesthetically, but in terms of melodic oomph, lead single “Over the Rainbow” is probably the only song here that tops what Fumanti does with “I Won’t Light a Candle.” She’s running through some of the most identifiable tracks of my life in this piece, but somehow she’s making them sound as original as ever – in some cases many decades after their initial charting.
Though I couldn’t have expected to be as wowed by Cinema Collection as I have been when I first gave “La Plus Bella Chose Au Monde” a spin just this past weekend, I probably should have anticipated as much from someone who already has a lot of love from the critics at such an early stage of their career. Giorgia Fumanti doesn’t just make a cover album in this release but rather constructs a tribute to her heroes that still conveys a message of evolution to the audience that is supremely encouraging to hear if you like her music as much as I do. This has been anything but a predictable time in the pop genre, but from the looks of this LP, Fumanti could care less – her focus is, and always will be, on the music.