L’amore Non è Bello

Band: Dente
Album: L’amore Non è Bello
Best song: “A me piace lei” is the album’s grand optimistic — though, mostly aspirational — point and is a great song, but “Buon appetito” has the best arrangement, lyrics and vocal work.
Worst song: Probably “Quel mazzolino.”

I’ve long said that the best love songs are the sad ones. There’s value in songs like “Something,” but overwhelmingly, the best songs are the ones that speak to melancholy, confusion and unrequited love. I’m not sure why this is.

Could it be that the jaded and jilted lover is easiest for which to root? Is it an underdog story that hits us in our hearts? No one roots for Goliath, after all. A broken-hearted person reveals all and, at best, that person is overwhelmingly charming. It’s not Tom Hansen’s fault that he expects too much from the relationship and can’t handle the truth of dating. It’s Summer’s fault for being insensitive or manic or something.

Giuseppe Peveri, like a bizarro Jens Lekman, has a grasp of the sadness of love. The album’s title is explained — translated to Love is Not Beautiful — works in direct contrast to his arrangements and almost sugary sweet voice.

In his lyricism, Peveri is somewhere between Elliott Smith and an overbearing teenager. Because of this, his easy lyrics are singable and lovely more often than they are anything else. Using juxtaposition, his clever writing makes for lovely melodies that go well against the actual lyrics. To wit:

Che bello un sogno che diventa vero,
un incubo un po’ di meno

(Loose translation: A dream come true is wonderful,
A nightmare is little less so)

The song’s main notion that the disconnect between two people in a relationship is near-universal. It’s painful to know that one’s significant other doesn’t love one in the same capacity; being the one who loves more can be just as difficult to process. “Incubo” uses this nightmare — “incubo” means “nightmare” in Italian — to emphasize the grandness and anticipation of love. It seems great and can go wrong. Quickly, like the sleep-to-nightmare move.

It speaks to the album’s mission statement, as compared to his previous albums, that the title of the record is his full honesty. As he says, “L’AMORE NON È BELLO. PUNTO.”

Love is not beautiful. Full stop. Sometimes, it’s hard to argue.

Similarly, like Smith’s minor obsession with driving on some records, L’amore Non è Bello has some allusions to eating — not dispelling the stereotype of the senuality of Italians – including the album’s absolute highlight, “Buon appetito.” The song uses the notion of meals to illustrate a love story gone awry. Over a perfect little Shins-esque keyboard riff, Peveri wishes his lost love good luck in her further endeavours in an absolutely charming way, until he emphasizes his ice-cold sarcasm:

Quando fai la spesa cosa comperi, di che colore hai colorato i mobili,
vorrei non sapere più nemmeno dove abiti.

(Loose translation: When you’re shopping and you want to pick furniture color,
I don’t even know where you live.)

The distance is perfect and is, often, the only way to get over someone. The ultimate detriment to my most-hated of movies is that the protaginist wants to be part of Summer’s life because he can’t imagine life without her or hers without his presence. Having been in that situation, it’s terrifyingly real, but ultimately, distance is needed. Peveri understands this — whether it’s out of spite or not is not important. “Buon appetito” has the perfect combination of snideness and dismissal.

The album ends on the gorgeously constructed “Solo andata.” The song’s storyline of a breakup harkens to the album’s cover relationship, gone awry. The song’s protaginist asks where the relationship went within the first verse, then, eventually coming to the conclusion by song’s end that yes, maybe it’s best that he’s gone. The song is achingly beautiful, utilizing an easy guitar arrangement that invokes the least country Richard Buckner records. It’s a pefect album-ender that, indeed, proves that love is not beautiful.

Full stop.

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  • About Me

    I'm Ross Jordan Gianfortune. I am not a writer, but I sometimes write here about music and my life. I live in Washington, DC.

    I used to review each of Rolling Stone Magazine's top 500 albums of all time. Now I'm writing about albums I own.

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