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Alux Nahual - La Trampa CD (album) cover


Alux Nahual

Crossover Prog

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2 stars Alux Nahual tried to replicate the success of "Alto Al Fuego" with this album, by keeping the alternative sound and composing radio hits. The album had only one big hit and another minor one, so they failed to reach their goal. But, what about the music itself? The guitar this time is lower in the mix, so the sound is not so hard-rock anymore. Keyboards drive many of the songs this time, instead of the guitar. Of course, they aren't vintage keyboards anymore, but only synths.

I like the opener, "Perros de la Ciudad". It's very energetic and the vocal performance is great. The subject of the song and the lyrics are good which is the norm with the Aluxes. The guitar plays some interesting variations.

The next song, "De la Noche a la Mañana" is the hit single. This time Paulo Alvarado gives us a very conventional piano-driven ballad, which is an evidence that he can write both "weird" and "normal" songs. The song is beautifull with pretty vocal arrangments and touching lyrics. A short, but nice acoustic break with a cello solo complement the song.

"No somos niños ya" is one of the proggier tracks on the album. Do not expect the organic symphonic sounds to dominate, it has more of a neo-prog sound overall. Heavy on the synths and the drums. As always, the bass fills complement the song very well. The instrumental breaks are the most interesting parts as some cello and flute pop here and there with nice counterpoints. The drums keep the song very simple, though because Lenin is playing like a powerhouse drummer and not complementing melodically.

I always have some trouble liking Plubio's contributions. "Eres la Única" is not the exception. After such an energetic and busy song that was "No somos niños ya" this sounds very average and boring.

I've heard many times the comparison between Jetrho Tull and Alux Nahual many times. Alux has never been about blues, but it has the folky feel and the flute. Well, the song "La Trampa" sounds to me like an 80's version of Jethro Tull. The song is driven by the flute riffs and is very rocking. I like the overall sound and all the breaks. I'm not sure if the breaks are good or laughable. The song is about a warning against drugs but the subject is treated in a childish way.

The next two songs are normal songs, not worthy of a detailed analysis. "No te llames Padre" has some interesting drum patterns. "En el tiempo" is a typical Ranferí ballad with nice sax and bass.

I used to adore "Traficantes de Religión", since it has a funky-groove that's contagious. The final riff is also very cool, in a rocking way. My adoration has waned a bit, because the song is marred by sillyness. It has a "jazz" break that doesn't sound like jazz at all. I would have expected somethig more from them. May be they did it on purpose, but it doesn't sound so good. In this album, religion is a new theme for Alux and it would be a subject more explored in latter albums.

This album has to be between two and three stars, but I don't know where exactly. I played it a lot, because it appeals to me as a rock album. But as a progressive album it's not of interest. I'm a fan of Alux, so the rating Collector/Fans only has to be most suitable. If you're a fan already of the previous albums, you won't be dissapointed. I really like it but I don't wanna seem too fanboyish and give all the Alux's albums 4 stars... jejeje... Plus I like it from a general music perspective, not in a prog way.

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Posted Thursday, July 9, 2009 | Review Permalink
3 stars Well... Raul explains well the escence of the album... it is not like they try to reach a comercial success than the previus album... They were in the route of doing more accesible music, but they saw that "Alto al Fuego" was too comercial... so they make a bit larger songs, and put it a lot more instrumental sections, not as their symphonic earlier sound, but sounds very good for the time...

This album focus on the keyboards, and in almost all the songs they use it. Perros de la Ciudad is a good start, very driven guitar, very sticky song... it's kind of regular 80's alternative rock. Good song, but not great.

There are three ballads in this album, the HIT "De la Noche a la Mañana", touching and beautiful piano song. On the end the song sounds more heavy and have a good guitar solo. The other ballad "Eres la Única" is a typical power ballad, but in the middle section they arrange a great instrumental ensamble with a guitar lead, a cello lead and ends with a beautiful flaute solo. Is one of the must underrated songs from Alux. Maybe the voice of Plubio was the factor why it wasn't a radio hit. The last ballad in the album is "En el Tiempo", the only acoustic guitar based song. Kind of a regular song, with a good sax solo at the end.

The highlights of the album are "No Somos Niños Ya" and "La Trampa". Both are well constructed and perfomanced very well. The first one is one of my favorites songs from Alux, with a great instrumental section involving guitar, flaute, cello, keyboards and bass doing interesting dinamics. The second, more focus in keyboards and flaute, shows quite well the fussion elements remaining on their sound. Again, the middle section is kind of proggy, not overwhelming but still well arranged. Here you have good examples of well constructed music without been complicated and twisted.

The remaining two songs are kind of average, "No Te Llames Padre" is an odd song from Oscar Conde, based on piano with rare accents on the drums. Feels like it guides you to a final guitar solo, that just never sound. Strange song, but very singable.

The last song, "Traficantes de Religion" is kind of the must pop songs from the band. It starts with a church organ, meant to be somekind of "gregorian chorus" sound, but it flaws awful. Then the song gets a lot better with a funky element and some interesting breaks, meant to be jazz, again, but it wasn't at the end. Feels too short song for my taste, but very funny at the end...

At the end, the whole album is a good example of being creative without geting too complex. They grow a lot in the performing rate, very detail on the arrangements, but they get too simple sometimes. Is not a bad album, ir very good actually, but in the rate of prog rock, ends up with 3 stars... interesting if you compare it with whatever latin rock of that time...

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Posted Thursday, July 9, 2009 | Review Permalink

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