I bought this album maybe 10 years ago. Back then, the disc’s laid back music and failure to meet my expectations of a Chris Rea album made it a disappointing purchase. I was expecting somewhat bluesy songs with nice guitar work – but instead the album offered plenty of string arrangements, more than a few instrumental pieces, and little overt guitar work (i.e riff based songs).
Listening the La Passione today, I was much more impressed with the music. As a film soundtrack, the CD manages to create very moody textures yet remain listenable as an album. I find that with many soundtracks, composers repeat the themes too often and it becomes a bore to listen to the entire CD. Not so with La Passione. Despite not being a pop or rock album, the disc lives up to repeated listening and is much more than incidental background music. A few songs feature vocals by Shirley Bassey, and Chris Rea’s unique guitar work is present although not prominent in the mix. Although La Passione will remain a curiosity in Chris Rea’s canon, I quite like it as a late night piece.