REVIEW: Moenia – Moenia (1996)
Moenia is one of those bands who are in my collection but has never been a necessity to have all their music as a completist. Sadly, I don’t know why. I love music as Pet Shop Boys and Moenia falls in that same synthpop genre that I adore. This floors me that I never got attached to the band, maybe because you can only handle so much synth at one time.
With trying to go back and add more reviews of older albums, I wanted to start at the beginning of Moenia’s career but it wasn’t until I read Wikipedia that I learned I don’t have the first album of Moenia, which isn’t this. While this album is the official “debut” album of Moenia, it is actually not. There is an album before this that fans have dubbed, “Disco Perdido” or The Lost Album, which was released in 1992. The group had released the album after signing a contract with Polygram Records. Very few copies exist, and with the lack of success, the group failed to gain a second album with Polygram.
It wasn’t until 1996 that the guys snagged a second chance with Universal Music and alas this album was born. Alfonso Pichardo as lead vocalist, Juan Carlos Lozano (Morbo) as lead guitarist, Jorge Soto on keyboards, Abraham Rodríguez on synthesizers, and Carlos Mercado on drums were the line up during the lost album days. Rodriguez left and member, Alex “Midi” Ortega comes on. Pichardo left the group before the recording of this album though most of the music was his. This left Lozano as the lead singer until Pichardo came back for the 1999 album.
If all these changes make your head hurt, it does mine too. Ultimately, the vocals on this debut album belong to Juan Carlos, who will leave the group after the band’s first tour and move on to form Morbo.
I hate comparing but I do prefer Lozano’s vocal stylings to Pichardo’s, as his voice is a lot deeper. If you love bands like Pet Shop Boys and Erasure, this album falls right in line with that genre. The album is heavily created with synthesizers but it is great for club music. As I said before, I can only handle much of the synth before it all begins to sound the same. By track six of the twelve tracks on the album, I no longer can tell when the song changes. The group’s number one hit is featured on this album, “No Puedo Estar Sin Ti” is the track most people will identify with the group.
Overall, the music serves a purpose in my music collection and fills the gap between pop music and club music in my catalog of over 14,000 songs I own.
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