IL CANTO DI MALAVITA: La Musica Della Mafia: CD

And now for something completely different…. What we have here, folks, is a collection of authentic Italian folk songs written about the mafia. No big whoop, you might say, but considering that this disc marks the first time this stuff has been released on CD, that it has been banned in at least two countries so far, that the musicians who performed on it have chosen not to share their identities for safety reasons, and that it’s a bitch to find, then you’ve got the makings of one damn intriguing CD. From a musical perspective, a lot of ground is covered stylistically (one of the tracks even sounds like a Mexican corrido!); most of the instruments utilized are acoustic, all of it performed very well. And then there’re the lyrics. Much of the subject matter covered focuses on the “rules” of membership, but there is enough bloodletting, revenge, and wanton gangsterism to make Scarface, Cypress Hill, NWA, and the lot sound like De La Soul or PM Dawn. If you’re looking for a change of pace, have a relative with a serious Sopranos addiction, are a lover of offbeat variants of traditional musical forms, and if you’re able to find the dang thing, this could not come with higher recommendation.

 –jimmy (www.malavita.com)