1999, Love of Lesbian

Warner Music, Spain
Rating: 51

By Jean-Stephane Beriot

We had declared 1999 as one of our most awaited albums of the year; it’s so disappointing that it has been sitting at our pending list for more months than your average transnacional rock album, and you know Love of Lesbian is anything but average. The band is one of Spain’s most beloved and respected institutions of rock, their last installment Cuentos Chinos Para Niños del Japon was a magnificent record, to many of us even better than La Leyenda del Espacio by Los Planetas. Popular blogs around including RateYourMusic (similar to IMDB but for music) have enlisted 1999 as the year’s best Latin rock album and it’s such an incorrect tag considering how weak and unexpectedly boring this turns out to be.

Perhaps I’m being overexposed and trapped in the new wave of lo-fi circulating around, so much that I simply have the hardest time being receptive to something as generic as Love of Lesbian. Thing is, the band had never shown this amount of tedious spare time, they haven gone U2 (at lower speed) and of course that’s not a desirable quality nowadays. Ok, now that I bawled my disappointment let me reaffirm this is not a horrible album whatsoever, the first single “Club de Fans de John Boy” along with other tracks show signs of signature-technique that will hardly go away. It’s great to see that their pessimistic allure is kept along with those vocal-heights vocalist Santi Belmes is known for.

Half of the album sounds like Niños Mutantes (“Te favorece tanto estar callada”), but even less interesting considering the raging cabaret- vibe Love of Lesbian is trying to wear, even adding English-language phrasing without much luck. “Miau” and “Algunas Plantas” almost step in ridicule territory, there’s just too much going around to pick up anything from songs that are lyrically standard but once put through a tropical burst they just sound too easy and too empty to work. Any highlights? Yes, the album’s subtitle is pretty great: 1999 o como generar incendios de nieve con una lupa enfocando a la luna. I still like Zoe’s Memo Rex….. better.