This morning, I scoured Twitter looking for any new albums that we coming out today. It is new music Friday, so something had to be new; especially when there are a ton of artists within all the Latin American countries. Finally, I found this album on the new music on iTunes. I was about to pass this album up because I had not heard of Alex Anwandter, but when I saw that it was from Nacional Records, I thought I’d give it a chance. At first sample, the music fit our website with a little techno-electronic flair; so I spent most of my morning and afternoon giving this album various listens: on desktop, in the car, at work.
Hailing from Chile, Alex Anwandter began his career with a popular pop band, Teleradio Donoso. After four years of working with others, Alex decided to go solo, and this album, Amiga is his third album as a soloist. Amiga may sound like a dance-pop song, but his lyrics talk more about the social issues that affect many of the people in Chile and around the world. His first single, “Siempre Es Viernes En Mi Corazón” deals with being alienated in an over-worked and oppressed society. This is why Alex has connected with a lot of the gay communities in his country. This is why I always say music is a universal language; it’s a fun and catchy pop-electronic song that doesn’t sound like he is trying to be serious with his message and it features Ale Sergi and Juliana Gattas of Miranda!.
For the first five songs off the album, we these great pop-dance tunes with a great club feel to them. I am jamming along and enjoying the album. I mean, after five great fun numbers I think I have an album that I need to put on my “to buy” list; then Alex Anwandter’s album does a complete 180. He gives the listener a ballad, “Manifesto” that has no electronic feeling to it. It is basically Alex and a piano. Instead of going back to his original dance-pop songs, what comes next sounds like a completely different album. Really!
Amiga changes its genre mid-album and while it is still “pop”, it is no longer dance-like. It almost reminds me of the ’70s or early 80’s Chicago. It’s an adult contemporary pop album with very slow ballads dispersed between them. So, everything past track five just doesn’t belong if the album belongs to Chile’s “dance-pop phenom” as Billboard Magazine named him. This is why I don’t want to give the album a great rating because it doesn’t flow as one cohesive work of art. Let’s call these two EPs merged together.
I guess I can give it kudos for having the album split down the middle; if the dance tracks were spread throughout, I probably would have hated it.