Monday, August 12th, 2019

Fred De Palma ft. Ana Mena – Una Volta Ancora

Checking in with the top end of the Italian charts…


Alfred Soto: Thank you, Ana Mena, and that high life guitar for keeping Fred De Palma’s rap at bay.

Joshua Minsoo Kim: The start-stop beat and Ana Mena’s vocals save this. Fred De Palma’s slapdash aggro-rapping is unsightly and takes away from how breezy this otherwise sounds.

Leonel Manzanares de la Rosa: Of course, it’s the typical Latin pop pastiche that usually gets a lot of love from the summer charts in Mediterranean Europe, but the natural flow and wordiness of the Italian language — which lends itself wonderfully to hip-hop — makes it work. The standout is that unexpected but marvelously used bachata guitar, though. 

Iain Mew: Their vocals share space uneasily at best, which is a shame because the gorgeous guitar and force of the stop-start chorus could be the start of something much more enjoyable. 

Kylo Nocom: I enjoy how “Una Volta Ancora” has an appealingly narrative-esque structure (ramping up in desperation from beginning to end, kind of like “Promiscuous”?) even if the execution varies slightly in quality: the heightened synth melodies underneath Fred De Palma’s confident rapping make up a particularly riveting change in energy for the second verse; the horn squawks and intense deliveries in the third verse are entertainingly passionate but not exactly as climactic as they could be, stumbling right back into the chorus. The chemistry between the two artists here is undeniable, though, and Ana Mena’s addictive phrasing on the chorus (“vola! vola!”) is sweet enough to compensate for the plasticky production.

Joshua Lu: Nothing about this rings as particularly novel to me, but it’s all unobjectionably fit for the current season. Ana Mena is the real star here, as she’s capable of keeping the song featherlight, unlike how Fred De Palma’s leaden raps sink it down.

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