Exposicion Permanente, AMA

Los Enanos Gigantes, Spain
Rating: 75
By Carlos Reyes

For those who are not into the semi-tropical, semi-bizarre “I don’t care how bad I sing” wave coming out of Spain, AMA is a revitalizing face of the popular Spaniard song, which is strange even in its purist form. It’s mostly lyrical; phrasing has become as important as making a memorable beat. AMA sounds like La Buena Vida, but with male vocals and a lot more twee than it probably dares to admit, but most than anything the band from San Sebastian is making songs for the masses unlike La Buena Vida’s inner musical exploration. This aspiration however, doesn’t make these songs less intimate; actually, they’re meticulously researched to find the common emotional bond between the creators and the consumers.

Exposicion Permanente starts with a noxiously bold intro “Videoarte”, it does a great job initiating a cosmos of lights through gorgeous melodic lenses. “Dime de Verdad” sounds like a blissful song, but its quest to find truth in the exchange of sacrifice and effort is actually cruel and thoroughly unromantic: “Tell me the thurth, if it’s worth to write another poem or if I should throw myself on the couch.” It follows with another song assaulted by disgust, “Tu Coleccion” is about a guy who meets a girl at a disco and consequently agrees to visit her apartment, but he doesn’t know she’s in fact a hearts collector, the realm of a predator over our poor surprised prey. I wasn’t expecting for a song like “100 Veces No Puede Ser” so early on the album, the track is a marvel from anywhere you see it, from its epic small choir vocals to the escalations throughout the song that reach a climax of incredible calmness, as if it was negotiating peace over its own sound. It doesn’t wash out the resentment of the previous tracks but it finds them stillness in redemption, and so it liberates them from the looser-miserable feeling I was getting from the album.

The next song brings the expected shift to brightness, “Aquella Noche” even manages to sound a bit like Michael Jackson’s “ABC”, but in a very innocent adult tempo that almost resembles the sunny pop of Vampire Weekend. So, is it an album with actual sequences and groupings? Unfortunately not, the album never gets as interesting later on; 15 songs is an excessive number when trying to extend an idea or a theme and it fails to find closure in between the album like “100 Veces No Puede Ser” does for its part. The album becomes a bit suffocating as a whole, but individually it still manages to expose some brilliant moments such as “Sin Tomar Prisioneros” and “Encuentro Casual”, lacks roundness but not its will of crying out what it needs to let out, perhaps not the ideal songs for realists but a delightful exposition of emotion nonetheless.