Omar Rodriguez-Lopez - Corazones - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Omar Rodriguez-Lopez - Corazones

by Nathan Fidler Rating:5 Release Date:2016-08-06

For solo artists there is generally a considered and formulaic manner for building your catalogue, but for Omar Rodriguez-Lopez it seems normal rules don’t apply. As you might already be aware, he’s embarked on the release of 12 “albums” over the next six months - this first of which didn’t sit well our reviewer Amy Putman. It’s not hard to see why either.

Famed for The Mars Volta and At The Drive-In, what you’re hoping for is more of that energetic, latin inspired prog-rock magic. And while the disappointment of the sporadic first album was a let down because of it’s lack of form, drive or consideration, this second effort fares only a little better because instead he’s trying too hard to go the other way.

Corazones is apparently the result of a failed attempt for a soundtrack. Which movie it was for we don’t know, but that helps to partly explain why there is more shape here.

Firstly, this album is far better than Sworn Virgins, so even if you were put off by that album, it’s still worth giving this one a go. Songs feel more like songs, and songs seems to have a meaning therewithin (even if it is still approached with the intention of hiding the true meaning). ‘We Feel The Silence’ opens the album, setting up what is almost an acoustic approach for a man like Omar.

It’s actually quite unusual for Omar to stip things back this much. While he’s always held as a decent guitarist, his vocals aren’t the most invigorating - especially in this drab collection of heartache songs. In contrast to those songs where he seems to amble his way through obscure lyrics, ‘Lola’ is actually quite quaint. Dark in it’s heart, there is a hook and plink-plonking fairytale music, meanwhile the lyrics hint at a less than acrimonious split.

‘Sea Is Rising’ is probably the only other pick from the album, but given that it is the one track he’s had sitting around longest, it’s hardly surprising that it feels the most thought through. Acoustic guitars and menacing lyrics find a sound caught between Bowie and QOTSA.

Clearly Omar is dedicated to writing, but everyone needs a break once in awhile. Most of these tracks could be great, but end up middling because the feel rushed and unfinished. Lets hope this isn’t the trend we see across the other 10 albums, otherwise we could be in for a frustrating six months.

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