[5 September 2012]
The International Teen-age Sensation is a 1964 pop album originally released on RCA and recently resurrected by the Real Gone label. Rita Pavone had captured the heart of the Italian public the previous year with the legitimately great “Cuore”, raking in enough lira that an English-sung crossover attempt was probably inevitable. But it is almost impossible for an album like this not to feel calculated, the product of meetings between middle-aged men in offices on both sides of the Atlantic shaking hands over something that sounds good on paper.
The 18-year-old Turin native’s accent is charming and the arrangements are more sympathetic to the youth-infused vocal performances than one might expect. But she is not quite in her element and most of the song choices are the sort of thing that would have sounded horribly dated to American youth by the time 1965 rolled around. The album leads with its best song, the single “Remember Me”, and the CD ends with an interesting bonus track, “Heart (I Hear You Beat)”, an English version of “Cuore”. The in-between is largely forgettable, though “Wait and See” is a pretty ballad that would work well over the credits of a Mad Men episode.