Funny People – Alessandro Fantino (reviewed by Dave Franklin)

I’ve been commenting on it a lot lately but I can’t help but be heartened by the amount of artists who feel driven to use their creative channels to comment on the current state of the world. To me, it ha always seemed like a wasted opportunity that having worked hard to get people to listen to you, having developed yourself as a brand cool enough that people are interested in what you say and do, that you then don’t use this platform to say something poignant and powerful. Why build a platform if you don’t want to project from it?

Thankfully Alessandro Fantino, understands the power of his position, the power of being a focal point, of having the luxury of being able to speak out and to be heard. And if now is not the time to speak out then when is? Funny People isn’t political in a specific sense but the fact that its anti-war, pro-tolerance message gets to play out against  backdrop of dark events taking place around the world really adds a lot of weight to it. Technology may mean that we live in an ever smaller world but ironically at the same time we seem to be have an ever more divided one; political division, calls for walls and borders, pandemic isolation and the sight of American troops using tear gas on their own streets. All surely signs that the world is heading down a dark road.

Using a musical vehicle of brooding bass-bombs, doom-laden drums and razor-edged guitars, he drives the message home with his masterful and sky-scraping vocals. And the power of the music feels appropriate for the power of the message, it is music to stop you in your tracks, to make you listen and once he has your attention then the message can be received properly.

The video shows a futuristic, hi-tech production line, and this underlines the futility of it all. Why are we using our science and industry, medicine and engineering to make weapons of war when we could be using those technologies to find cures, explore space, create new advancements, improve the lives of everyone on the planet?

We need artists, as much as anyone else, to help instigate the change that the world needs. Who better to add the soundtrack to the struggle on the streets? Who, after all, are young people listening to more than musicians? Change is often born out of conflict on the streets but those conflicts need their anthems to help people rally to new ideas and install resolve in people. And Funny People seems like the perfect song to be playing as we march into a bright new future.

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