Gallantly pushing its way out of the silence and into the spotlight, we find Giorgia Fumanti’s rendition of the iconic “Over the Rainbow” almost bursting at the seams with a hearty melody before we even know what to do with it. Set to a swaggering tempo that picks up the grind of its original incarnation and twists it into something a little more suited for Fumanti’s unique style of play, “Over the Rainbow” is the perfect song to get the new album Cinema Collection in motion, and as it spills into the withheld beat of “Love is a Many Splendored Thing,” it quickly becomes clear that this is not your mom and dad’s cover album. Cinema Collection is too epic a listen for this to be the case, and it has a way of getting our attention right off the top no matter how many times you’ve heard it – or the source material – before.
“Un Jour Tu Reviendras” brings a vivaciousness into the studio for a marvelous sonic tryst with the already gifted Fumanti that gets a second life later on in the concluding track “Now We Are Free,” and I think these two songs are reason enough to pick up a copy of this record before the season is over. There’s a warmth to the chemistry inside of the booth that isn’t something you can come across just any old day in the vocal pop genre, and if provided the time and space to do as much, I haven’t any doubts as to whether or not they could create an entire album full of provocative listens like these.
When I first saw a stunner like “I Won’t Light a Candle” in this tracklist, I got chills. To some degree many of the soundtrack covers in this record remind me of the classic harmonies featured in this song’s original version; much to my surprise, however, Fumanti whips out an entirely different skillset for this particular performance in Cinema Collection. She’s so soft and vulnerable it’s almost as though she could be crushed by a pulsating beat in the backdrop; her kinship with the melody is undeniable, while her delivery is, in a word, captivating. Her reworking of “Les Feuilles Mortes” is equally unique, but between the two, I think “I Won’t Light a Candle” needs to be considered the most elite solo performance on the LP.
While I expected some of the elements in “Stranger in Paradise” with this latest release from Fumanti, I did not expect to find the larger-than-life melodic trappings they’re accompanied by in tracks like this one, “Love is a Many Splendored Thing,” and every other song on Cinema Collection. The approach, if you’re a fan of her music, is nothing new, but the energy is refreshed and focused in a fashion that fits the theme of 2023 breathtakingly well. Though Cinema Collection is a cover album, it’s absolutely an essential piece of Giorgia Fumanti’s discography, and to all of those who still haven’t heard her work (somehow), I’d recommend picking it up immediately.
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