SOLEÁ MORENTE "Aurora y Enrique" LP/CD
TRACKLIST: 01 Aurora 02 Ayer 03 Yo Y La Que Fui 04 El Pañuelo De Estrella (Feat. Estrella Morente) 05 Fe Ciega
06 Domingos (Feat. Triángulo de Amor Bizarro) 07 Iba A Decírtelo 08 El Chinitas 09 Marcelo Criminal (Feat. Marcelo Criminal) 10 Polvo Y Arena 11 Enrique
It is hard to reinvent yourself again and again. As time passes, it is more and more complicated to satisfy the expectations that have been set. That’s why at a certain point, an artist, the kind with a capital A, needs to forge their own path. Because Soleá Morentehas made an immense album. She already had a reputation for being a chameleon, and now she has taken a turn in a new direction that nobody was expecting. Towards unstable ground, dangerous for a singer of her caste and style. And she did it to talk about what she carries inside her, what we all wanted to know: what it’s like to grow up in a house with Aurora Carbonell and Enrique Morente. And after the strength of an album as powerful as “Lo Que Te Falta”, Soleá now brings us an intimate album, with references to shoegaze and dreampop, echoes of MAZZY STAR and BEACH HOUSE, and to top things off, for the first time, she has written the lyrics and music of each and every song herself. This is HER ALBUM.
Nobody could imagine that Soleá would have sought out a way to express her private thoughts, her deepest confessions, with such sounds. But here it is. This is the stuff legends are made of, going off the beaten path.
This path opens with “Aurora”, her mother, who gets the story started and who is a reference throughout the journey, a narrator of sorts, with this song that gives us the first glimpse at the makeup of this special home. Somber, contained. But “Ayer” makes it clear that the parameters will not be the usual ones. Because the arrangements, the cadent rhythm, the delays, all make us think of shoegaze, of melancholy and bucolic soundscapes. The dynamic that grows to the beat of the emotions, the silences, the whispers, to tell the story of the emergence of love. “Yo Y La Que Fui” is rough and dry, somewhere between TINDERSTICKS and Sufjan Stevens, but slowly starts to let the light in, doubts about who you are and who you want to be, insecurities and fears.
“El Pañuelo De Estrella” is where we get the first touch of duendespirit on the album. Amid programming and arrangements that could be from Sterling Morrison, her origins come out, while she tells the story of what could be the first time Enrique and Aurora or any other couple meet. It is a beautiful moment that passes so quickly and that, as if there were an option, includes that collaboration of her sister, Estrella Morente. Art and the mundane are capable of the greatest magic when they work together. “Fe Ciega” is driven by Lou Reedand by that love that already feels inevitable, imperative. The build-up moves between clarity and chaos, melodies and noise, making a hypnotic, evocative ambiance that hides a small tribute to Manzanita, Enrique’s close friend and practically another member of the Morente family.
“Domingos” opens the B side of the vinyl with a new example of a leap of faith. Post-punk, dark programming, the need to flee from the routine, CUT COPY, muddy waters and dancing, anxiety. With the vocal participation of Isa Cea (TRIÁNGULO DE AMOR BIZARRO) who moves through this strange place, sibylline and hypnotic. And just at the peak of the turbulence, “Iba A Decírtelo” takes us to the most evanescent landscapes of THE CURE. Sweetness, light, a slight blush, candor. “El Chinitas” is an exercise in folk with precious harmonies, and truly magnificent guitar arrangements. And that reference to “Ducati”, one of the most fun songs from “Lo Que Te Falta”. And with this move, Soleá closes the circle: the abandonment seen there becomes the culmination of the beginning of Aurora and Enrique’s story here.
“Marcelo Criminal” deserves a whole new paragraph. It pays tribute to a unique figure that includes the participation of its own protagonist, with an absolutely irresistible pop spirit, surprisingly full of clapping and guitars, and marvelous, fun, magical chemistry with that nod to PAPA LEVANTE. Meeting Marcelo’s eye from the stage, Soleá in the audience, in Siroco concert hall, the rain… And the music.
“Polvo Y Arena” is a hymn to time, memory, goodbyes, the love that is never forgotten, even if it doesn’t last. And also, to all the sleepless nights spent thinking about all of that. With a chorus from the folk songbook that was frequently a part of Enrique’s repertoire, that used to play all the time in the halls of the Morente household and that Soleá carries in her heart and reproduces on “Polvo Y Arena” as if it were just another glimpse into her memories of her family. The end of the song is pure duende spirit of course, dedicated to “Enrique”, picking back up on the opening song, but showing us the other side of the same coin. Goosebumps.
Manuel Cabezalí’s production, mixing and interpretation work deserves its own paragraph as well. He is responsible for a large part of the instrumentation, the sound and the production; his contribution has been key in the album’s surprising result, as have: Nieves Lázaro, who plays keyboards and sang backing vocals, Juan Manuel Padilla who plays drums and percussion, and Dany Richter who was responsible for the mastering.
The cover has a minimalist design that says it all. Black and white. Two pictures. One date, of Aurora and Enrique’s union. The beginning of everything. The beginning for Soleá. And on it we can see that devotion to the mother, his devotion to her. Sincerity is king on this album, Soleá’s direct, clear look for everyone who wants to be close to this exercise in honesty, affection, roots, history, and above all, love. With a capital L. The kind that is full of edges. The kind that kills and brings you back to life. The kind that gives us a reason to live and think, and if only for that, all of this has been worth it.
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