Alex Anwandter’s soundscape under the moniker Odisea mingled the collapsing backdrop of Santiago de Chile and an individual’s blossoming amidst a mechanical institution. While fantastically crafted and executed, we all recognized it as the artist’s inevitable rhythmic confrontation with Santiago’s urban environments and cultural infrastructures. One of the prime elements in Odisea was moving away from writing songs about love, and that was reflected in the album’s disquieting, almost aggressive lexicon. For his forthcoming album, Rebeldes, Anwandter is putting Odisea on hiatus and, in the process, making a fascinating comeback to pop form. This is, of course, Anwandter’s second reincarnation as a first class recording artist and performer. After Teleradio Donoso’s departure a few years ago, we hinted that Anwandter could go on to become one of the great male pop stars of our generation, and his new venture is a solid step toward that prediction.
“Tatuaje” is the first single off Rebeldes and Anwandter’s return to heart-on-your-sleeve songwriting. In this song, the Chilean pop visionary reconditions his past as a sort of explicit capsule, moving forward under the warmth of a four-minute song that marches its pulse under a stripped-down sense of pop songcraft. The image of ink carving beyond the human skin reveals Anwandter as a dreamer and a romantic. Under the celestial production arms of Cristian Heyne, “Tatuaje” is so cleansing, fetching, and stirringly-tailored, that it’s, ultimately, Anwandter’s most cultivating shot at newfound freedom. “Eres perfecto, pon tu mano en mi pelo y conecta el sentimiento,” sighs Anwandter in a devoted voice that later turns into a whisper as he anticipates the tragic yet healing act of saying good-bye to a once magical neon kingdom between two people in love.