Higher Octave Music
Led by brothers Alain and Jean-Francois Bernardini, the Corsican band I Muvrini has been playing its passionate calls for justice on a world stage for years, steadily building a dedicated following. The troupe's first release to American audiences is a self-titled collection of highlights culled from 13 previous releases. Delivered in stirring combinations of gypsy strength, Celtic lilt, pop melody and Cajun fervor, I Muvrini's music is moving and passionate, covering universal themes of homeland nostalgia and patriotism, and hope born from sorrow. Poetic English translations (the band sings in its native Corsican) flesh out these themes, as conveyed in the music. "Dumanda (Something I Wanted to Ask)" plays out a bittersweet love song through wiry, spindly guitar, moving with a folk song lilt; while "A Voce Rivolta (Sing Out Loud)," a call to action from "O Corsican Land of My Torment," spices its synth-driven pop structure with a heart-rending chorale and striking, bent-note guitar. Even on the sweeter tunes, from "Noi (Us)" to a "reprise" of Sting's "Fields of Gold" ("Terre d'Oru" here, and played as a call-and-answer duet with Sting), the brothers stir the soul with the vocal passion of European-native genres. Most telling is the intense "Vogliu (I Want)," which stomps, claps, rages and strums with intense passion, in an elemental call to fellow citizens: "I want a people that laughs/I want a people that sings."