There are significant musical differences in this Sicilian singer’s style from the time she began recording—about ten years ago—when you compare her past songs with those in her new album, “Eva Contro Eva,” her first to be released stateside on Universal Latino. Gone is the MTV-friendly rock vibe and the screaming guitars of earlier songs, such as 2000’s “Parole di Burro” (Words of a Fool) and 1997’s “Confusa e Felice” (Confused and Happy). Instead, what we hear now is music that sounds much softer. The melodies, however, are richer both lyrically and melodically—she now also seems more open to explore the music beyond the confines of her island, as evidenced by “Madre Terra”(Mother Earth), which features a duet with Angelique Kidjo, who sings in her native dialect. She hasn’t really abandoned her rock tendencies completely, though. Tunes like “Signor Tentenna” (Mr. See-Saw) still have certain indie sensibilities that are reminiscent of the earlier songs of the likes of Shakira and Alanis Morrissette. Her lyrics—all written in Italian—reflect on personal relationships, her love of literature and mythology, and also on the native traditions of her hometown of Catania, which is located on the slopes of Mount Etna. (Ernest Barteldes)
September 21 at the Chicago Cultural Center.