Bailar y Llorar, Teleradio Donoso

Oveja Negra, Chile ****1/2
Rating: 93
By Carlos Reyes

To dance crying or to cry dancing, Teleradio Donoso makes a quick move releasing their sophomore album full of nostalgia and rhythm. In their latest album, The Killers talked about how America was raising a new generation of dancers, Teleradio Donoso’s approach to reach common ground inclines to individual change, about the joy of love and its painful desolation, and of course the physical manifestation of such broad feelings. They had shown signs of vanguard in their debut album Santiago, which placed them on a level of critical acclaim as high as that of fellow Chilean Javiera Mena, but I had no idea of this catatonic vision they now embody. From start, one must highlight the lead singer’s distinctive, arousing and affecting voice; coming from someone who sees voice as another instrument, leader Alex Anwandter  is polishing his talent to create a real marvel. Bailar y Llorar is ultimately resonant to the idealism of gender and its urgent collision with age.

Captures the exceptional ideal to let feelings be known without regret, with such open margins, the songs expand to a range of pleasure and fears. It’s been a while since the first single “Amar en el Campo” hit the internet, it’s a touching piece that tackles on the moment one gets tired of humanity and needs to find some organic stability, one the metropolis can’t offer and so camping is the way to go. The trip might take a while, but life and everything has a cycle, eventually reaching the right moment to embrace a relationship. There is a great sexual vibe in “Cama de Clavos”, which associates a dancing practice, the rollercoaster of feelings love evokes, to the metaphysics of the supposedly magical trick of a bed of nails: where the body stands lay down on top of it, the nails are not able to penetrate the body as the weight is distributed throughout.

The album gives plenty of chances to exhilarate your pain or happiness, but most especially, it whispers into the ear that it is perfectly okay to let those feelings invade the body. In “Eramos Felices”, it warns the listener that this in fact is a “delicate balance” and remembers the beautiful moments of an unspecified past. It’s quite cynic and tragically honest, in stressful conditions like those of today, why not look back into a time of joy? The next track “Las niñas de la cuadra” resolves that question but unfortunately outcomes a depressing realization of time and gender. The song tells how as kids, it was perfectly fine for girls to come over to a boy’s house, as they grew up older, they become ghosts as the fathers and morality get in the way, “Era hora de olvidarse de los niños que son tristes.”

No one should ever make perfect songs, and no one should ever call on them, but “Granada” merits this distinction as it is a jaw-dropping hunting song I can hardly get out of my head. Here it goes: Get intoxicated until you see Jesus Christ, confront him, see if you can get over the ghosts you’ve been carrying around, dance along, cry along, destroy yourself, solve the puzzle, be a star and fly, if nothing soothes the pain get yourself a grenade and kill the fucking ghost with it, free yourself. This second half of the album is pure bohemia, like a healing process that concludes with “Yo no se nada del mundo”, the moment to put everything together, moment of realization before a new cycle of crying and dancing.  

This album might be hard to get physically, it took long enough to get a proper release in Chile, the single was out about 6 months prior to the album’s release, which was officially presented last month, which in music blogging culture transcends as a 2009 album, and it’s THE pop-rock album to beat this year. We’re hoping a label somewhere in North America picks it up, it’s worth it. 

♫♫♫ "Granada"