Mediamente isterica (Cyclope Records)
by Michael McCarthy
You’ll probably remember when Alanis Morisette’s “You Oughta Know” hit the airwaves and DJs couldn’t stop commenting about how angry she sounded. Imagine if Natalie Merchant sounded equally furious, joined forces with a full-on rock band with metal roots and started singing in Italian. I dare anyone to come up with a better description for the music of Carmen Consoli, who’s Mediamente isterica CD has been getting lots of airplay at chez moi as of late. With production sounding like a cross between Butch Vig’s work with Soul Asylum and his work on Garbage’s debut, it’s a contemporary disc de force with plenty of energy and mood swings to make you want to scream along even if you know less Italian than I. After a few listens though, I needed to get some notion of why she’s seemingly so upset, and headed over to Alta Vista’s translator (http://babelfish.altavista.com/cgi-bin/translate?) and typed in the song titles. It failed to translate half of them, but it did spit out “Pure Accidental,” “I Felt The Odor,” “According to No Logic” and “The Last Prayer.” Is she a headcase or just a very serious young woman? I don’t dare answer that, but I recommend you investigate and draw your own conclusions.