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03/07/2017
Article
Zucchero: Black Cat (Wrasse Records)

With the exception of several ’70s progressive rock bands that caught the ears of prog fans, Italian rock has been a local phenomenon. Italy’s Zucchero has sold millions of discs around the world, and collaborated with the likes of Eric Clapton, but remains unknown stateside. On Black Cat he continues his quest for recognition. Co-producing the album with such familiar names as Don Was and T Bone Burnett, he co-wrote a pair of songs with Elvis Costello and Bono. Bono’s elegiac lyric for the vaguely Phil Spector-ish “Streets of Surrender” is sung in English; many of the songs are in Italian and rock harder with nods toward the music’s gritty blues roots.