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City Reading [Explicit Lyrics]

Alessandro Air/Baricco Audio CD
2.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 19.20
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Product Details

1. La Puttana di Closing Town
2. Caccia all'uomo
3. Se vuoi capire la loro storia.

Product Description


On City Reading, Italian author Alessandro Baricco (of the acclaimed 1998 novel Silk) employs the ambient electronics of Air in what amounts to an artfully done book-on-tape, read in Baricco’s thick Italian brogue. Narrating a few especially poetic and lyrical passages from his 2002 novel City, Baricco tells three offbeat stories of the Old West (broken out over 19 tracks) that could’ve been stolen from Sierra Leone’s dream journal. Meanwhile, Air shows off the knack for theme music they brought to the Virgin Suicides soundtrack, laying down accompaniment that provides a proper theatrical background for Baricco’s playful yet melancholy yarns. For those who don’t speak Italian, the sleeve has a complete translation to read along with, creating the effect of a sub-titled movie, or at least a dusty hallucination from the days of six-shooters, saloons, and whorehouses. An intriguing mix of story and song, City Reading continues Air’s baroque touch with synthesized moods and spacious atmosphere. --Matthew Cooke

Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Air are certainly Amazing June 10 2003
Format:Audio CD
Air's new release caught my attention, besides the fact that it is AIR, because it's the wierdest idea for an album, ever. They provide music while an author reads his novel in his native Italian, and produced by Nigel Godrich of Radiohead? Hmm....
The fact is, the album is the least possibly accessible in the history of god. It is great music, but only for a true Air Fan. I bought it and it has a nice spot in my collection, as I can boast I have all the Air albums, minus the forgettable Everybodyt Hertz. If you want Air, I recommend 10,000 ghz, Moon safari, premier symptomes, or virgin suicides.
The music is good, and I hear if you read along to the "lyrics", it makes sense. However, I am a bit iffy on reading the english to the Italian, which is gibberish to my unknowledgeable-about-Italian brain. Personally, I find this great to write papers to, or read books (in English, for me).
I hear Air is coming out with a "Real" cd by the end of this year....that I will wait for!!
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3.0 out of 5 stars More For Baricco Fans. June 4 2003
Format:Audio CD
This disc is okay. I like it but I hardly ever listen to it (if that makes any sense). The music is good, a four star performance, the reading is in Italian, which I don't understand, but won't put down. Alessandro Baricco has an excellent voice, I can't comment on the quality of the reading obviously, but according to other reviewers it's great. My only problem is that the recordings of the music and voice don't match. Air has a dinstinct sound, whether it be from the Moon Safari days or the 10,000Hz Legend days. The subjects in the reading may match the moody, spacey style of Air, but the recording of the voice does not. It's not a bad recording, but it's rather bland to be backed by such a stylized band. It's also significantly louder than the music, which normally I support for the sake of understanding the reading, but in this case it's much too loud and could have been mixed down into the music and still clearly audible. I, being an Air fan and loving Air's music (predominantly their instrumentals), find the reading to only subtract from the music because of the mix-matched recording technique. I'd say this is more an album for fans of Alessandro Baricco, because when it comes right down to it, he's really the only thing to which you can focus your attention.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Unique Idea April 22 2003
Format:Audio CD
I also must stand up for this disc. Perhaps my unending praise is biased by the fact that I do speak italian, but I simply believe it is a great work. Also, having watched an interview with both Air and Alessandro Baricco, I think I understand what they were going for. Air first tried out the putting music to spoken word at a concert, and everyone loved it. So they decided to make an entire album out of it. I personally find Baricco's reading very beautiful (he has a very unique voice) and that Air's music compliments it, emotionally and musically; which coincidentally, was the goal of all involved. Incidentally, Nigel Godrich, the producer, and Air do not speak italian, and they enjoyed it. So all in all, a unique idea, with great results.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Air Good! Baricco Bad! April 2 2003
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
Well, Air have done it again. They've created another moody, catchy, wonderful album of material that I find thoroughly enjoyable. Unfortunately, I can barely hear it because of the droning Italian voice that covers nearly every note. While this was an intriguing idea, I really wish I could do one of the following: a) listen to the music without the words or b) listen to the words in a language I can speak. Because as unsophisticated or perhaps even bigoted as it sounds, I have no interest in listening to Italian for an hour straight. It just gets annoying.
In conclusion, go back to Air's older material (except Everybody Hertz) and enjoy it immensely. Leave this one alone.
From a huge Air fan~
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1.0 out of 5 stars What were they thinking? Aug. 2 2003
By Bt
Format:Audio CD
Come on. You can try and justify this release all you want, but this is the second release in a row that Air bombed on. First they give us numerous re-releases of the same songs on "Everybody Hertz", then they come out with a "book on tape" concept, in Italian to boot? Even if the background music is good, how many times are we really going to listen to this? These boys need to get their act together, and soon. They've lost their luster, and it doesn't take a rocket scientist to see why. I don't know if they've lost their enthusiasm, but I hope they get back to working on something original in the near future.
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