The first time I came across Laura Pausini was back in 2005, when I was looking for Italian music on the now-defunct MSN Music website. I had already found my old favourite Piu Bella Cosa by Eros Ramazzotti and was exploring to see what else I could dig up. I remember doing a random search for Italian music and seeing a link for a then-recently released album called “Resta in ascolto”. Who knows, maybe I was just struck by the attractive brunette on the cover. 🙂 I listened to the single of the same name and was immediately sold. The beautiful, lyrical singles on that album have just stuck in my memories and are the soundtrack of that period in my life, when I was entering the final year of university and looking forward to starting my professional career. There are a lot of memories that those songs conjure up.
Looking back, I find it curious that I never heard of Laura Pausini at all when I was living in Italy. I guess she must have appeared on one of the music shows I watched on TV, such as Festivalbar, but none of her songs stuck in my mind. It’s also odd that nearly all of the Italians I have spoken to have dismissed Pausini and her music as being cheesy. Clearly, I’ve managed to completely avoid her fans! I’m not a music critic and so much of what we listen to is subjective in nature anyway. What I’ve liked the most about Pausini’s music (apart from her powerful vocals) are the lyrical nature of the songs (regardless of the theme) and the melodies to which they are set.
One of my favourite lyrics come from the song “Il tuo nome in maiuscolo” (Your name in capitals): “Per l’amore che non hai, e che non ho volute mai, ma che ormai esiste dentro noi.” This translates as: “For the love which you don’t have, and which I never wanted, but that now exists between us.”
Laura Pausini performed a concert at the Albert Hall in London back in 2012, and it was great to be able to attend and finally see her performing live. Of course, she sang mainly in Italian but also performed Spanish and Portuguese versions of her songs (she is hugely popular in Latin America). It’s always interesting to hear the translations of familiar Italian songs in other Romance languages. They are so similar and yet so different.
If you aren’t familiar with her music, I’d recommend starting with the brilliant album “The Best of Laura Pausini: E Ritorno Da Te” (Coming back to you). Make sure you listen to the single “La solitudine” (Loneliness), which is quintessential Laura and was also the single which started her career, winning her the Sanremo competition in 1992. The album “Resta in ascolto” (Listen up) and “Primavera in anticipo” (Early spring) are also great. I’ve listened to these many times over the years and the songs have grown on me immensely–it’s always funny how that happens when you really pay attention to a song and give it a ‘second chance’, as it were.
Finally, one of my favourite Pausini clips is this one from a TV programme where she harks to her roots in Emilia-Romagna and spontaneously sings the song “Romagna Mia”.