[23 September 2008]
The music on both of these albums was written to accompany Italian cartoons. There are musical stings, zingy trumpets, singalong nonsense lyrics like, “Ba da ba dum,” and “Be de be dee,” and contributions from voice actors who chuckle, shout, and squeak. La Linea is more exciting at first, with its clubbier sound, but the title theme is repeated so often that if you don’t know the show you’ll probably get bored. Signor Rossi is quirkier, incorporating a range of quotations from different genres: some scat singing, some jazz, some rock, a player piano. Your love of these 1970s retrospectives is going to depend on your appetite for goofy, catchy, cartoony things like the “Tutankamen Cha Cha Cha”, the ghost-moans of the “Spooky Twist”, or “Gatto Blues”, in which the singers imitate cats imitating singers. Both albums are best in small doses, otherwise the jingles wear you out.