July 11, 2005

Entre Rios "Onda"

When it comes to musical recognition, Argentina doesn't have much of a reputation. Other than inspiring the lovely musical Evita, the South American country doesn't get recognized for much. That's a shame, too, because Buenos Aires is a modern city. Why, then, isn't it giving rise to a host of really great bands that will appeal to a large international audience? Aren't there any good bands from Argentina?

Yes, there are.

Entre Rios is a three piece dance-pop trio from Buenos Aires, and they eagerly and skillfully mine the cool and sexy reputation of their hometown and their native land. Fronted by the drop-dead gorgeous and mysterious Isol, the trio's music will instantly remind the listener of a dark, glamorous European night club full of beautiful, intelligent people. Their sound is quite European in nature, too; Entre Rios sound like a South American answer to Saint Etienne. Of course, Sarah Cracknell doesn't sing in a breathy, sultry Spanish tongue, and in this case, Entre Rios triumphs over their inspiration. (At times, they also sound like a Japanese group, specifically Pizzicato 5, but let's not confuse the issue, shall we?)

Onda is the band's third album since their formation five years ago, but the quality of the songwriting and compostion would lead you to think them a band with a decade's worth of hits. Musical masterminds Sebastian Carreras and Gabriel Lucena have the ability to write strikingly modern pop music that's both gorgeous and innovative. From the sad, melancholy ambient beats of "Cerca & Extrano" to the joyously upbeat "Claro Que Si" and
the candy-sweet "Odisea"--which is reminiscent of William Orbit's collaboration with Madonna, Ray of Light--it's obvious that Carreras & Lucena's pop creations were already perfect well before Isol opened her mouth. Over Onda's eleven songs, she sings with an innocent yet wise voice that is instantly seductive and charming. They never fall victim to the traps of repetition, and it's clear there's nothing superficial about their music, either. It's obviously that they simply want to make gorgeous pop, and once agian, they've succeeded.

There's no reason the rest of the world shouldn't be fawning over Onda; in a perfect world, their music would be ubiquitous. But, sadly, the reason that's not going to happen is also the reason this record is so damn gorgeous. Personally, I'm glad they've damned themselves by singing in their native language; Entre Rios' music is already perfect. You might not understand a single word, but when you're listening to a record as beautiful and as passionate as this, you don't need to understand. Onda is pure summertime pop perfection, a pleasant listen from start to finish.

--Joseph Kyle

Artist Website: http://www.elefant.com/en/grupos_bio.php?id=8
Label Website: http://www.darla.com

No comments: