Alessandro Coli – I Betcha

Fresh off the success of his single Flames, Italian born singer and songwriter Alessandro Coli’s new single I Betcha offers fans of dance pop one of the most substantive releases from the genre in 2016 and outstrips the earlier effort with its full-rounded quality and surprising depth. There is nothing in the genre and its position within the marketplace that behooves Coli to do much more than provide listeners with a danceable beat and placeholder lyrical content, but Coli clearly isn’t a songwriter and artist content with serving up paint by numbers songwriting.

Instead, I Betcha delivers an artfully built dance track with fantastic lyrics and a career-defining vocal. The potential demonstrated in this song is quite enormous. Coli has experienced a steady and inexorable rise in his career fortunes since his debut at fifteen years old as a contestant on an Italian television talent program. He has a few successful singles and one EP under his belt. With each successive release, the now nineteen year old artist ramps up his game yet again with this song.

His vocals are the defining element of this song. It would be quite easy, if not utterly expected, that Coli would exert a great effort to dramatize the lyrics as much as possible, but instead he shows considerable restraint in an effort to move this track as far from formula as he possibly can. It’s interesting, as well, to hear how he accelerates his singing during certain lines as if he is manipulating his voice like a traditional instrument and it creates an urgent effect that calls listener’s attentions to those particular lines.

While he exercises the aforementioned restraint in order to get the song further over, the song affords Coli with frequent opportunities to show the deceptive extent of his range. Anyone who cites Freddie Mercury as a formative vocal influence is clearly fully invested in what it means to be a great singer.

The backing track shows similar taste and restraint. Coli and his collaborators in the booth create a fleet and immaculately produced dance track that doesn’t share the same tendency towards denity and the too-obvious characterizing so many songs in the genre.

Instead, the electronica behind this song makes good use of space and allows the music to breathe. It works in excellent juxtaposition with Coli’s voice and the spaces created by the arrangement gives Coli’s voice swaths of silence where his voice can land with supreme effect. The lyrical content manages to skirt around the usual stock lines and situations plaguing these song types by, instead, simply focusing on honesty and being as forthright as possible. They are well written and speak to the listener directly without ever being too obvious.

I Betcha might even strike some as a weird hybrid from the singer/songwriter school. It’s clear that there’s a deep need for catharsis at the heart of this song and, to Coli’s credit, he never forgets to invest the track with the expected entertaining musical elements. If his reported 2017 full length debut has the same quality of this song, fans are in for a memorable moment.

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