After listening to “Despierta” the first single off of “Palosanto”, Enrique Bunbury’s upcoming album, I was blown away by the directness of the lyrics and of course, the music, which has more of a rock & roll feel to it and it made me wonder if the rest of the songs on the album would have the same feel.
This past weekend, I had the opportunity to listen to the album in its entirety before its official release date of October 29, 2013, and I have to say that Bunbury’s true fans will not be disappointed. As it has become customary in Enrique’s music, again he takes us on a lyrical and musical journey that touches in familiar places and as always, new places, which only goes to show that Enrique Bunbury is a true artist in the purest sense, as he never rests on his laurels or follows any particular proven formula and is always looking for the best creation yet.
The album starts off with the first single, “Despierta” (Wake Up) and it sets the tone for the first half of the album, in which one can hear a Bunbury with much more direct socially conscious lyrics accompanied by heavy guitars and futuristic synthesizers which blend perfectly with lyrics like “Wake up, everything has changed, nothing is like we had imagined”
“Mas Alto Que Nosotros Solo El Cielo” (Higher Than Us, Only the Sky), which will be the second single and video starts off with just a bass line and some percussion with piano notes over it, but as the chorus comes in, the guitars come in take the song to a whole new level and also give the chorus “higher than us, only the sky” a stronger feeling. Lyrically, this is one of the most optimistic songs on the album, which is reminiscent of “El Viento A Favor” from the album “Pequeño”
“Salvavidas” (Life vest) goes back to a darker mood and musically it could perfectly fit within the context of the album “Las Consecuencias”, but with lyrics that do not appear to be as personal.
Other notable songs from the first half of the album are “Habra Guerra En Las Calles” (There Will Be War on the Streets) which clearly refers to the occupy movements and massive demonstrations that we have had around the world in the last couple of years.
“Destruccion Masiva”(Massive Destruction) it’s a hard rocking song reminiscent of the guitar based sound of “Hellville De Luxe” and with somewhat ambiguous lyrics, which I interpret as a call to arms against the status quo.
“El Cambio Y La Celabracion” (The Change and Celebration) goes back to slower tempo in which he sings about the fact that in order to bring change, sometimes we have to go through pain, just like giving birth.
The second half of the album starts off with an up tempo and funky “Hijo De Cortes” (Son of Cortes) which talks about how we all get so hung up on nationalities and we prejudge people because they come from a specific country or place.
On “Mar De Dudas” (Sea of Doubts) one can hear the influence of his previous album “Licenciado Cantinas” in which he went back to the roots of Latin American pop music and comes out with his own bolero with touches of jazz.
Other notable tracks on the second half of the album are “Plano Secuencia” (Plane Sequence) and “Todo” (Everything) which are slow tempo songs in which Bunbury’s heartfelt voice takes the lead and with a melancholic tone, it grabs the listener and takes one on a sentimental voyage.
With lyrics that are very direct on some songs and somewhat ambiguous on others, and with different musical passages, “Palosanto” may be an album which has to be listened to more than once before it sinks in, but if you are a fan of Bubury, then you should not be surprised that he will continue to challenge himself as well as his fans and I am sure that by the first live presentation of the new songs, everyone will be singing along to the new songs as it has happened on all his previous albums.