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Seru Giran - Bicicleta CD (album) cover

BICICLETA

Seru Giran

 

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4.32 | 39 ratings

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Tycho
5 stars This is, according to most, the best album by Serú Girán. While I consider the bands first three albums all to be masterpieces, I think its here that the band managed to really coalesce into a single unit. The first album, was mostly led by maestro Charly García and has a more classical music feel to it. The second album saw the band consolidate itself but producing more mainstream rock oriented tracks. On the other hand, Bicicleta saw the band producing a rather proggy album with amazing things to hear. This is mainly evidenced by the whole array of genres that find their way here: rock&roll, jazz, tango, new wave...

'A los Jóvenes de Ayer' ('To the Youngsters of Yesterday') is one of the highlights of the album, its long (mostly jazzy) intro being the perfect opener for such a superb LP. Near the middle of the track the vocals kick in and the tango feel shows off the most. This is not a coincidence: the song was an homage/witty attack by García on certain sectors of the tango community that disregarded Rock. It ends with another instrumental part more fully realized and with Aznar's fretless bass taking the lead.

'¿Cuánto Tiempo Más Llevará?' ('How Much Longer Will It Take?'). This song has been regarded by Charly García himself as the best from the album. While I do not agree with him, I nevertheless do understand why he says so: this David Lebón track is raw power (not in the way heavy metal bands would have you believe raw power should be). It shows off a nice melody, delivered with the full beauty Lebón's voice can manage. The last minute has Lebón asking us ''How much longer will it take?'' to great effect and showing his skills with an electric guitar.

'Canción de Alicia en el País' ('Song of Alice in the Land'). This song starts rather softly with a folky feel during the first two verses... That is soon changed when the ominous drums that will pervade the song until its end, start off. The instrumentation wonderfully fits the desolation and hopelessness the lyrics convey (''Don't tell what you saw in the gardens, the dream is over. [...] A river of heads crushed by the same foot, play cricket under the moon. We are in no-mans land, but its mine. The innocents are guilty, says His Honor, the King of Spades. Don't tell what's behind that mirror, you won't have power, nor lawyers, nor witnesses.'') Charly's genius resides not only in the composition itself but in the way he managed to disguise the song with Carrollian references so as to evade censorship, and at the same time, retain his anti-dictatorship message intact.

'Luna de Marzo' ('March [the month] Moon'). This is the second track by Pedro Aznar published by the band. Its an intrumental, where Aznar lets himself loose with a synthesizer and his production skills. The end result is an atmospheric piece that serves to close the first half of the album.

'Mientras Miro las Nuevas Olas' ('While I See the New Waves') has García wittily telling another group of musicians to take it easy, and that it has all been done before, they are not really revolutionizing anything. This time it's the new wave rocker who gets reprimanded (''While I see the new waves / I'm already part of the sea'' sings Charly García). This is accomplished by inserting many dynamic changes between the more rocker and the softer parts.

'Desarma y Sangra' ('Breaks(s) to pieces and Bleed(s)') This is, simply, a beautiful ballad. It consists primarily of García vocals plus his piano, with some synth notes here and there. It has some cryptic lyrics, which is rather uncommon for García (''I look all around / Wounds that come / Suspicions that go / And here I am / Thinking about the soul that thinks / And because of thinking its not a soul / Breaks to pieces and bleeds'').

'Tema de Nayla' ('Theme of Nayla'). This is, in my opinion, the highlight among highlights in this album. Lebón delivers a beautiful melody, with Moro's drums as a soft backdrop and Aznar's bass harmonizing as the backing vocals. The song ends with a lengthy jazz - or fusion for the more rigorous of you - piano-led (courtesy of Diego Rapoport, per Lebón's request) instrumental section. I'm sure prog fans will know to appreciate the piano here, with the rythm changes and Moro and Aznar filling their parts prodigiously.

'Encuentro con el Diablo' ('Meeting with the Devil'). This is mostly country rock: the Lynyrd Skynyrd influence is notorious here, so much that it has been acknowledged by García himself. Although the myth says the song is about a meeting between the band and the then current dictator of argentina (or, according to other versions, a member of the cabinet), it has been denied by the band. This rather upbeat and humorous track is a fitting conclusion, I think, to the brooding and excellent tracks that preceded it.

All in all this is a wonderful album that leaves the listener lusting for more... Fortunately that lust can easily be quenched by spinning the disc again, as the listener will need several listens to grasp all the intricacies and harmonies which are layered in tracks like 'A los Jóvenes de Ayer', 'Tema de Nayla' or '¿Cuánto Tiempo Más Llevará?'. Its a 5 stars for sure.

Tycho | 5/5 |

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