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Blops - Blops [Aka: Del Volar de las Palomas] CD (album) cover



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2 stars The second Los Blops album is a bit more polished than their debut and not quite as angry as their third and final release seemed to be.

The Blops were probably the lesser known of the big three progressive folk bands to come out of Chile in the early seventies, along with El Congreso and Los Jaivas. Overall I’d say their music ranks just ever so slightly below both of those bands in terms of its dynamic appeal, but each of these bands has their strengths and weaknesses. Los Jaivas was probably the most commercially successful of the three having scored major label contracts with EMI and later Columbia, and with a few albums released even in North America. For me, Congreso is the more authentic Chilean folk band, with both instrumentation and arrangements that both remain true to their native roots, and expand on the sonic qualities of the music to take it quite a bit beyond mere folk songs.

Blops are not quite either, with pretty authentic-sounding compositions but little serious experimentation on their first albums, and their records today were nearly impossible to find in Chile or anywhere else until Shadoks Music reissued them all on a 3-CD boxed- set last year.

This second album is rather like the first, and both are comparable to Los Jaivas debut (which is also impossible to find today). All three suffer a bit from spotty production and what sounds like four-track mixing. All are quite staid compared to the bands’ later works. And none really reach too far beyond a rather traditional folk sound. Don’t get me wrong, traditional Chilean folk music is quite elaborated and expressive, but we’re talking about progressive music here and these three albums don’t quite rise to that level.

Like the other Chilean folk bands Los Blops employ native instruments like the charango, tarka, hand drums and acoustic percussion. There are also some strings I can’t quite place but which seem to be coming from a cello. Those are quite nice. But these songs for the most part come off as rather dated and not unlike the stuff your mother would have listened to on the radio back in the day, assuming your mother is South American.

The two tracks that stand out a bit are the post-Mersey/psych-sounding “la Rodandera” and the acoustic guitar/flute heavy “Pisándose la Cola”, which also features some well-coordinated male vocal harmonies. But that’s about it; the rest of the album is decent folk, but not really progressive and not really all that memorable.

I wouldn’t recommend trying to find an original release of this album unless you just like to spend way too much for average music. If you really want to get into the Blops, pick up the much more reasonably-priced reissue of all the studio albums in the 3- box set if you can find it. Somewhat recommended to fans of bands like Los Jaivas and Congreso, but unfortunately I have to say this is a two star album.


Report this review (#156300)
Posted Saturday, December 22, 2007 | Review Permalink
2 stars One feature that distinguishes the folk rock of Los Blops from the folk rock of jaivas and Congreso, is that in Los jaivas, and in the more folkloric period of Congreso (1975-1977) one can say, this is a 'Malambo', this is a 'Cueca', this is a 'Huayno', this is a 'Trote', you can identify and catalog the pieces according to their melodic and rhythmic structure, with the difference that these structures are altered, fused and executed with electric instruments.

With Los Blops, this does not occur, their first two albums are very acoustic, and in This album an folk atmosphere can be noticeable, however this is not given by particular melodic and rhythmic structures, but by a way of playing the guitar that seems inspired by many groups and singers of Chilean folk music as "Pedro Messone", "Los cuatro de Chile", "Patricio Manns" and especially "Victor Jara" and by the inclusion of certain folk instruments such as the accordion or the charango.

In fact, the style of Los Blops was undoubtedly influenced by 'Víctor Jara', they lived with him for a while, even collaborated in the performance of several songs from his album "El derecho de vivir en paz" (the right to live in peace) which it was very relevant within the ambit of the broad and significant musical/social trend known as "the new Chilean Song". This influence can be seen mainly on this record.

This album, in my opinion, is not necessarily a step backward for Los Blops musically, but neither represents a very important step, and I expected more from him, maintains the strength in his message through their lyrics, but it's an album too "songbook", I miss the good amount of instrumental pieces from the first album, therefore I feel it is even more hippie than the previous, too much message of humanity, life, nature etc, which becomes too repetitive in the long run .

Nor are we talking about a very valuable or worship album within the Chilean music, is not like his predecessor, although it contains wonderful themes and key songs of the band like "Manchufela" and "Esencialmente así no más", and songs not so key to the band but equally good as "Tarde" and "campos verdes", as album, fails to have the significance or historical value of the previous one.

in terms to progressive rock, this album does not have anything like that, it's pure folk rock. Unlike "La Ventana" (Todos Juntos) of Los Jaivas, which already reveals a progressive trend in songs like "Caminos que se abren" or "Corre que te pillo", which then would lead to a gradual development of this style in the group, the blops, had in his album "Locomotora" (1974) an unexplainable and fortuitous turn of 180 degrees towards progressive rock, because before that, they had given no indication of it.

Unfortunately, I must say, I feel that, despite having very beautiful themes that deserve to be remembered, this album seems generally quite "forgettable", is valuable, but not as much as other albums of Los Blops, and it is not a progressive rock album, for all that I think the more appropriate rating for this album is a definite 2/5, sorry Blops.

Report this review (#1426944)
Posted Monday, June 15, 2015 | Review Permalink

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