La Buena Vida Harmonica
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Siesta Description: First and most, Harmonica is a melancholic record with excellent songs. We all know that there are no limits for the inspiration of La Buena Vida in their quest for the perfect melody. Harmonica is an endlessly rich mini-album that can be accurately classified as pure emotional alchemy. Pop was rarely ever done any better (maybe Beatles, Beach Boys, Joao Gilberto or Nick Drake); they use new secret weapons... We are sure that this record will become a cult or even a timeless classic beyond trends. If you thought Hallelujah meant the summit of their talent, you are wrong. These seven songs prove to be absolutely essential to understand why La Buena Vida is the most revered Spanish band. An idolatry that can compete with the passion for other cult acts as Belle and Sebastian or Tindersticks.
\s\s\sHarmonica was recorded in parallel to Hallelujah including recording sessions in Prague, Madrid and San Sebastian. Of course this is an orchestral record with honest and introspective songs of crafted pop. La Buena Vida has always exhibited interesting brains as well as good taste. But now the stature of the songwriting allows more intense and personal lyrics, stamps of a lifestyle and evolution through the years. In short, the sadness of being happy or the joyness of being nostalgic. It's not simply that their music has become more mature but anyone who likes good pop music will easily surrender to the band.
\s\s\s"San Francisco" is a sophisticated opening track with cinematic feel, some kind of casino and tuxedo easy listening. The color palette turns darker with the autumn feel of "Que puedo hacer, Senor" an elegy with Irantzu at her best and flashes of strings echoing Francoise Hardy's "La question" masterpiece. "Blues por Charlie", should be labelled as the gentle surprise of the record, It's a glorious mini-soundtrack about the romantic sorrow of sheltering into pop and film icons, love and disappointment. "Mirando atras" is an anthemic track in the best naive and jazzy tradition of the 90's bands coming from San Sebastian but with top-class production.
\s\s\s"Se parece tanto a ti" is a fragile composition that reminds of Claudine Longet or Astrud Gilberto with superb string arrangements and ultra-stylized
production. The mastery of tension is given with "La promesa"; a pleasure for daydreamers, it's a sad song with intensity and privacy, a lullaby-like number in a certain way. Finally La Buena Vida return to their mellow and soft soundscapes ("Que vida") with bittersweet lyrics and irony components.
\s\s\sLa Buena Vida as a diamond shows different facets at each record. There is always a raison d'etre, and a worthy and believable identity for each of their releases. They take you to the promised land of pop and even melt your heart. So take a deep breath and enjoy these seven wonders.
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