The Celebrity Cafe 2013

Newpoli - 'Tempo Antico'

Author Rating: 4.0 Stars - Very Good
Ever wanted to check out something different? Why not some Italian folk music?
Newpoli came together in 2003 to celebrate Italian history and music through their Southern Italian Folk music. It is an interesting idea and has worked well for this group as they have found no shortage of material to draw from. Tempo Antico is the group's third album and a lively one at that.

The music is both simple and complicated at the same time. There are no electronic instruments used, but more traditional ones, such as the flute and violin to help back up the wondrous vocals. The band features two singers, Carmen Marsico and Angela Rossi, who flawlessly sing the lyrics.

The lyrics will be a bit of a sticking point for some, as it's all in Italian. Though I don't speak a word of Italian, it did not diminish my enjoyment of Temp Antico at all. So wonderfully produced, it's like listening to a live concert in your house. According to their site, the lyrics recount ancient stories and rituals.

The album is full of enthusiastic tracks, but occasionally steps back for a more quiet stripped down sound, such as with "'a Serenata 'e Pulcecenella" where it's mostly the singer with a quiet guitar being plucked in the background.
Then the album suddenly shifts back into high gear with a track like "Mamma La Rondinella," which is full of energy and the instruments temporarily take to the forefront in what sounds like an encouragement for listeners to dance.

Though I speak not a word of Italian, I still enjoyed listening to this album and highly recommend it to anyone who is willing to give something different a try. It often feels like Newpoli's tracks would be played at a Renaissance fair or in a historical movie. Either way, it's enjoyable.

- Kyle Johnson