Escuela de Zebras, Joe Crepusculo


Producciones Doradas, Spain ****
Rating: 88
By Carlos Reyes

For those of you that are still buying music because of the great vocals, seriously, that's what concerts are for, or just go and watch American Idol. Keep that in mind while listening to Joe Crepusculo, my latest fascination from Spain. I first heard of him back in June from Pablo Diaz-Reixa (El Guincho) on Gorilla vs. Bear where he said Escuela de Zebras was his favorite album of this year so far. It's a mechanical album full of transitions and synthesizers, sometimes correlating towards the same direction and others collapsing into the electronic fields of the bizarre. School of Zebras indeed feels very animalistic in its wild approach to hug pop. Vocally it reminds me of Alaska (from Alaska y Dinamarca & Fangoria), musically definitely Grizzly Bear and lyrically, well, perhaps Ricardo Arjona on laxatives. This guy is hipster on extreme proportions. Crepusculo has such a scope for risk and possibilities that by itself elevates his approach to do his thing the way he wants to do it. Music for celebrations and holidays or to make any day a bright one, take a song like “Fiesta Mayor”, spin it loud and you’ll find a contagious happiness beneath the raspy voice. He also shows mastery with tropicalia in tracks like “Los Cazadores” and “La Lucha”, very symmetrical instrumental compositions with asymmetrical chorus supporting them. Lyrically, the most transcended songs are “Gabriela”, a Shakespearean love song and “Suena Brillante” which has become one of my favorite singles of the year. Joe Crepusculo is yet another artist giving their music for free, he just release a second 2008 album about a week ago and I can’t wait to play it, Escuela de Zebras is a hard one to digest, but oh man what a treat! I’m extracting some key tracks for you to taste, but this is a must download.