This album is a most welcome combination of influences, tempos, styles and instrumental approaches - as unexpected as it is enjoyable. There's blues-influenced stuff like the title track, electro rock like “Santa Rita”, a bouncy R&B-influenced track like “Me and My Baby”, and some combinations that sound downright strange to my American ears: the rap and sitar combination featured in “Feel Not Welcome” and the banjo/Chinese rhythm of “The Greatest".
Most of the album is upbeat. Cavalli's clearly feeling pretty good, but he's not averse to delving into territory that sounds like it belongs in a Tarantino film on some of the stuff here: ‘Say Little Girl’ is a dialogue with Rosemary Standley, who warbles sweetly to offset Cavalli's guttural growl. The motorcycle tribute "Zundapp" must be heard to be believed - because why would you take my word for the fact that it is a combination of German motorik and American rockabilly?
I think this album is a fascinating trip into world music - both the influences rock and R&B have had throughout the world, and the influences that flow the other way. But on most of Temperamental, the sound rises above the level of mere influences or "soundalikes" to a level of bracing originality. I think Cavalli himself says it pretty well: “It sounds old, but not traditional. I do not follow; I just want to create my own thing.”
The album is out now (released Aug 13) on Everloving Records.
Don Cavalli at Everloving Records