Andrea Bocelli


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Sogno consists entirely of new compositions, much of which are deliberately skewed toward the pop audience whom Andrea Bocelli was well on his way to earning in the spring of 1999. In other words, it's an album that seems to be a progression, at least on the surface, but it's also a consolidation of the crossover audience that he wooed over the course of the late '90s. Sogno pulls off that trick, balancing Bocelli's opera background with modern pop and Italian music. That stance alone -- finding a middle ground between classical and modern pop music -- will alienate the purists (who, truth be told, haven't been all that thrilled with Bocelli in the first place), but this doesn't discredit the music. True, there are moments on Sogno that don't work as well as others, but overall it flows nicely and maintains a fine balance between pieces that suggest opera without actually being opera, and adult contemporary songs such as "Nel Cuore Lei" (a duet with Eros Ramazzotti) or the Celine Dion duet "The Prayer," which was originally featured on the soundtrack for The Quest for Camelot. The most interesting moments are songs like "Come Un Fiume Tu," a collaboration with Ennio Morricone that manages to not only find a middle ground between those two extremes, but to push forward, as well. Songs like these keep Sogno fascinating, but it's the adult contemporary-flavored numbers that stand to bring in a larger, pop-oriented audience, who will then likely explore the rest of Bocelli's catalog. For skeptics, however, the very presence of pop-leaning numbers will confirm their doubts. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine, Rovi