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Alux Nahual - Se Cantan Retratos CD (album) cover


Alux Nahual

Crossover Prog

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3 stars Excellent production... not their best music...

This is their 9th studio album and their last one as well. It was 1996 and they have change a lot during all this years. His most emblematic member, Paulo Alvarado ,quit the band before they get to the studio, so all their symphonic elements are gone with him, so this is their most Alternative pop-rock album, but it has a lot of interesting elements as well but it's very evident that the members are not so interested in a group achievement, so this is their most wide oriented album, that shows their different styles each one of them have choose to go... at the end the album leaves a very bittersweet taste in my mouth... it's good, but it's sad at the same time... so, lets see...

The Goods: the albums starts with their last radio anthem, one of the most heavy and singable songs they compose in the vibe of "Como un Duende" and "Alto al Fuego", "Con Todas tus Fuerzas" is a strong song with great lyrics and with enough space to all instruments to develop great, seems like a perfect song, with enough instrumentation and very radio friendly, just great. But the great following to this song just never happened.

Oscar Conde cover the emptyness of Paulo Alvarado, and gives three rock'n'roll songs in the vibe of the old fashion Alux Nahual... well, there are not symphonic elements on the songs, those are more oriented to alternative rock sound, but are odd and rare enough to stand in a little proggy vibe. "Tren de Media Noche", "Tráfico Gris" and "Canción de Juan" are the ones to hear in this album. this last one track is the only pure prog song and it's the best clousure to the whole discography of Alux. The song starts with a sad and melancholic flaute with an acoustic guitar as an intro, then breaks in the main song with a full band structure with acoustic guitars, many flautes solos, percussion and heavy guitar riffs. The songs goes in this folk-rock-andine vibe in a fast tempo with great and fresh sound. After a swift in the tempo the songs changes and become and moody ambient song, retaking the intro's theme, and become a power ballad with a bass solo, a very melodic and sad chorus and then a guitar solo, a repited chorus and the end of the song... an amazing song.

The other highlight of the album it's a strange collaboration between the two main songwriters of the band... it's show that they are not interested anymore in sharing ideas but the manage to work together in one song "Miguel Matabachas". The song is short and very alternative, but the vibe of the band, and the understanding of each musician working together is great and it's good for the album.

Now, the bads: when one of the best songwriters of the last decade, Alvavo Aguilar, bring out 8 tracks and non of them is memorable enough to get a single or some recongnition, you can said it's bad luck; but when you see that this songwriter, who is a great acoustic guitar player put aside his guitar and start using a lot of layering synth-pop keyboards, you can start worring about... and then, you see that his songs are nothing but pop oriented tracks and he didn't give too much room to the rest of the instruments, you get that there's something wrong about this...

The other big songwriter, Ranferí, gives 4 tracks, all of them are great, but three of them are just power ballads, very popy and minimalistic. those three tracks could fit great with his first solo album better than with Alux. So, these 11 songs are really not a band ensamble which is what Alux is known about for. So, It's so evident that the band members were not interested in collab anymore and that's one of the reasons of their split a few years after this realase...

In the other hand, the sound quality is the very best of all their career and even today is one of the best sound to any Latin American band can achieve... the name of the album means something like "Singing portraits" so, the booklet has a particular design or portrait for each song so it's nice to see the effort the label put in the production, which is great... so, 3 stars because it has it's lights and shadows, and that sad bittersweet taste knowing that it's their last production... we are expecting something more, there is 14 years since this album so... we are still waiting for some special issue or a rarities compilation...

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Posted Tuesday, January 5, 2010 | Review Permalink

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