Canadian singer Nicola Ciccone has released a new album entitled Gratitude. The themes are love, heartbreak, and current news (i.e. COVID-19 Pandemic and lockdown). Nicola Ciccone wrote and composed the songs.
The music is French Pop. Each tune has precise music that reflects its mood and story. Peter Ranallo & Nicola Ciccone produced the album, and the instruments complement the record. Peter Ranallo plays piano, keyboard, percussion, bass, and Danny Ranallo plays the guitar. Nicola Ciccone plays the harmonica. The compositions are beautiful and dynamic. Ils Ont Fermé Le Monde has a sound that parallels Aha’s Take on Me but with a slower rhythm. Le Retour Des Beaux Jours has a sound that reminds me of a song from another album Esprit Libre (Free Spirit), with Les bons gars finissent Derniers (Good guys finish last). Gratitude has a sound that reminds me of Nicola Ciccone’s Faire La Guerre À La Mort, Faire L’amour À La Vie or Love is A Loaded Gun, but with a more upbeat sound. The song Le Vent Tourne (The wind is turning) parallels his hit single Arrivé jusqu’à Toi (Getting to you), but with a slower beat. The album parallels French music from the 70s and 80s that gives a nostalgic feel, combined with a modern touch. Nicola Ciccone is the artistic director and executive director. He and his team did a remarkable job with the music, rhythm, and overall tone of the album.
Nicola Ciccone’s voice is bold and rich, with a fantastic vocal range. He sings with heart and passion, and he has remarkable skills in storytelling.
The lyrics are profound and rich in poetic language. There’s an impressive mix of French and English in some of the tracks. The album has an incredible range of subject matter: from love to contemporary topics (i.e. COVID-19). First, there are two incredibly well-written songs related to the current news of the COVID-19 Pandemic: Ils Ont Fermé Le Monde and Le Retour Des Beaux Jours. Ils Ont Fermé Le Monde is about the lockdown during the pandemic, and Le Retour Des Beaux Jours is about things getting better with the vaccine’s arrival. Nicola Ciccone’s songs are relevant with the times in each album. He has pieces about racism and ageism: Haitiana and Dignité (Dignity).Haitiana is about racism, including the well-known quote “I Can’t Breathe” – referencing George Floyd’s murder in 2020 – the song is in French and English. Dignité covers the issue of ageism and the lack of respect for the elderly – it has a powerful message of the importance of honouring and respecting our elders. he tune mentions “Vieux loup” (old wolf) and loup (wolf), which symbolize a neglected member of the clan and the predatorial nature of wolves, respectively.
Nicola Ciccone wrote and composed a song entitled GAFA (Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon) about the four tech giants. It’s a profound piece about the various impacts of these four corporations on people’s lives, and it’s intricately well-written.
The record also has personal content, like Ma Chère Prof (My dear teacher) and Ce Soir Je Sors Avec Ma Solitude (I’m going out with my solitude. Ma Chère Prof is a touching homage to teachers. Ce Soir Je Sors Avec Ma Solitude has a genuine vulnerability and honesty about going through difficult and lonely times in life. It especially can feel relevant during the COVID-19 pandemic. The wolf symbolizes being a loner in the world (lone wolf) – well-represented, a second piece to mention the wolf.
There are beautiful romantic pieces: Sache (know), Avec Toi (With you), Dynamite (French & English), and Le Vent Tourne (The wind is turning). The piece Sache is a lovely appreciation of the deep love the significant other gives. The tune Avec Toi Le Vent Tourne represents the journey of finding true love. The song Dynamite has poetic metaphors to express the passion of love between two people. The Franglais/Frenglish adds a dynamic touch to the story and refers to the Quebec accent of speaking French. It’s a way of speaking French, slipping in some English words.
The most heartwarming of the record is the song Gratitude that is about being thankful-full of hope and inspiration. It demonstrates the importance of being grateful for the blessings and appreciating the good things (big or small).
The songs are expressive, relevant, and rich in language and depth. Nicola Ciccone wrote the songs from classic French to spoken French (also known as “joual”- Quebec expressions) and did an incredible job capturing the stories and emotions.
The album Gratitude is available.
September 24, 2021, Nicola Ciccone did a virtual launch of his latest album, Gratitude. He described the making of the record and his home studio, including a new way to write during the COVID-19 pandemic. He graciously thanked his crew for their contribution to making this album.
I especially loved his acoustic performance of the song -Gratitude, and it paralleled another hit of his Pour Toi in the way Peter Ranallo played the piano.
Here are the few songs he performed.
–Le Retour Des Beaux Jours
-Ils Ont Fermé Le Monde