Saturday, March 16, 2019

Alux Nahual - 1986 - Centroamerica

Alux Nahual - 1986 - Centroamerica

01. Desde El Aire (4:05)
02. En El Camino (4:53)
03. Cada Noche (4:31)
04. Torres De Papel (5:15)
05. Ven (3:49)
06. Bizcocho Sin Hogar (3:42)
07. Lo Que Siento Por Tí (4:05)
08. Centroamérica (7:14)

- Álvaro Aguilar / Lead & Backing Vocals, Keyboards, Acoustic Guitar
- Plubio Aguilar / Bass Guitar, Lead & Backing Vocals
- Ranferí Aguilar / Electric Guitar, Charrango, Lead & Backing Vocals
- Orlando Aguilar / Drums, Percussion
- Paulo Alvarado / Violoncello, Keyboards, Backing Vocals
- Jack Schuster / Violin, Mandolin, Lead Vocals
- Oscar Conde / Saxophone, Flute, Keyboards, Backing Vocals


This is the last album from the first period of Alux. It probably had something to do with it being the last album with Jack Schuster and Orlando Aguilar. We got five average to boring songs opening the album and 3 really good songs closing the album. The dullness of the first five songs comes from the conventional structures and arrangments. This time their aproach to the 80's doesn't work as well.
Desde el aire: energetic opener with andin instruments which then becomes rocking. The lyrics are about how there shouldn't be frontiers in Latin America as we have much in common. It's ok.

En el camino: slow song about being on the road. Driven by e-piano and vocals, it's quite soothing, but not much more.

Cada noche: For me, Plubio's compositions have always been either normal to weak songs. (Even though his playing is always superb, I love his tone). Weak drums, and keyboard arrangements make this is a poor contribution. Again I agree with jampa, despite all of its wrongs, it's kind of catchy.

Torres de Pape": I think it's supposed to be kind of a proggy song, since it has an unconventional structure, but it doesn't work for me. Again it's very rocking, but quite cliched also in the lyrics department.

Ven: A ballad by Ranferí. Acoustic guitar, cello arrangments (sadly too far below the mix). I like it more than the previous songs, mostly because I like Ranferí's vocals. I like the sax performance as well.

Bizcocho sin Hogar: This is really a surprise, it's a completely unique song in Alux's repertoire. Jack Schuster is an Entomolygist from the U.S. with a love for country and "gringo" (american) folk. He was always the oddest one in the group, since he dressed like a cowboy, as you can see in the album cover. Anyway he's an excellent musician and that is shown in his only composition for Alux Nahual. This song starts with a very dark piano and drifts between charleston, country, rock and blues with having a prog tinge. The kazoo and the fact that Schuster has a strong gringo accent make it sound extremely funny. The first time that I heard I couldn't beleive it (It also had to do with Schuster being my biology teacher). Its sounds maybe something like Steve Hackett has tried to do on many albums with his silly songs (Ballad of The Decomposing Man, etc.). My theory is that the song is about his deceased wife (RIP), but it could also be about nothing at all, since the lyrics are about eating in a bakery and it discusses several baking products. (WTF?)

Lo que siento por tí: A classic Alux ballad. I like it because I'm symphatetic to the subject of the song, since it has happened to me. The lyrics speak of falling in love with a friend and not being able to keep it in secret so you end up telling them. (Almost always it ends up with screwing the relationship.) It has to be noted how with each record they are refining the ballad form, which it would find it's peak (IMO) in "Americamorfosis".

Centroamérica: Like in previous albums, Alvaro Aguilar treats us with this massive and epic song about the political situation in Central America. This is really the central piece of the album, and it overshadows all the other songs (except "bizcocho"). It deserves a detailed analysis. It starts with an intro in electric piano, which is then joined by bass and drums in something that sounds like march. Then we get the classic Alux arrangements with flute, cello and violin. The first verse is then sung only with the company of electric piano then joined by all the instruments, again sounding very millitary like, which is ironic, because the song is a critique to militarization. The chorus is very epic with all the backing vocals and the scales played in violin. Then we're treated what is the last duet of cello and violin (just like the arrangements in the first album). The second verse becomes even more martial, since the snare drum carries it. The song is all a crescendo, and by this point we're joined by all the instruments. For the bridge, an excellent riff is played on the piano and everyone builds on it. As usual, a slower section follows, with the flute on the spotlight. For the closing the final message of peace is sung and we get a reprise of the bridge with plenty of arrangements. Maybe the structure is what you can predict from Alvaro (it is just like Hombres de Maiz and Conquista), but everything is just great that it doesn't matter that is the same structure.


 This is the last formal symphonic album from Alux Nahual. Their next production become a lot heavier and simple, been more alternative rock with very few of their traditional sound on the first four albums. This one is very average for my taste, with just a couple of outstanding tracks. lets see, song by song...
"Desde el Aire" is kind of typical sound from Alux, remains their trademark sound of epic symphonic-acoustic rock assamble... this song in particular is quite less complex but keeps the focus on the lyrics, the union of Central America and the brotherhood of this countries... good song, but not great...

the next song is quite an obscure one... many people do not like it, is one of my favorites of the album, but I guess the arrangments are just meant to fit the song, there's no solos, just a regular assamble of the instruments without any highlight... the lyrics are about leaving your love behind to get on tour... interesting and kind of touching...

"Cada Noche" is a very 80's song, good interesting arrangments, but very bad lyrics. I don't mind about loving an engaged women, but hell... sometimes I find myself singing a long the chorus... jejeje.. it's catchy... and has one of the best sax solos from Alux... average song to me...

"Torres de Papel" is another average song from Paulo Alvarado. His songs have always some kind of a child melodic line... you know, very singnable, very sticky... very 80's still... talking about bad politics... still today, it's a reallity... good song, but not great...

The next song is a love song, dificult to "get it" from the beggining but grows with every listen. The lyric is a poem wrote for someone I don't know who... a regular song for my taste...

Well... track 6 is one raritie... one of their greatest material... "Bizcocho sin Hogar" is the only song compose from Jack Shuster... it has some kind of country-charleston vibe, with great rock fussion... the lyric is quite funny, also the singning because Shuster don't talk spanish well... so, at the end is a funny song... but a huge arrangment that shows all the capacity of arguments that the band had under the sleeve... great song...!!!

The next one is somewhat typical, a very touching love song using just two acoustic guitars and a string pad... one of their best lyrics... one of their classic and must dedicated love songs in last 20 years between lovers... GREAT SONG....

The last one... Centroamerica... is one masterpiece....!!! and epic cleaver song about the war conflicts in Central America caused by URSS and USA in our countries... it has a huge symphonic assamble with violin, flaute, cello, piano an electric guitars... this is an oustanding song... one of the greatest... and gives the album a complete new level... without this piece, the album maybe where less interesting...

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