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Zucchero - Black Cat

The cover shot of Zucchero's latest effort features a picture of him wearing a hat that sports some serious ju-ju, like something that came out of Dr. John's closet. No surprise then that the Italian singer opens the album with a thumping bit of Bourbon Street rockin' with "Partigiano Reggiano."
Zucchero alternates singing in Italian and English, and trying to imagine what he's saying as he sings in Italian in whisky-soaked tones on cuts like "Ti Voglio Sposare" is part of the fun.

Those unfamiliar with Zucchero might be surprised at the big shots he works with here; he co-wrote "Streets of Surrender (S.O.S.)," a quiet song for a traumatized Paris with Bono, and guitarist Mark Knopfler (Dire Straits) plays on the cut.

Elsewhere he co-writes with Elvis Costello, and high-profile guests like Lenny Castro, Jim Keltner, Matt Chamberlain and Dobro master Jerry Douglas appear. And the dream production team of Don Was, Brendan O'Brien and T Bone Burnett puts the perfect edge on this set of funky, Continental-via-New Orleans party rock. Get your copy here.