Christina Rosenvinge - La Joven Dolores

La Joven Dolores, Christina Rosenvinge
Warner Music, Spain
Rating: 78
By Jean-Stephane Beriot

The temporal dimensions of certain records can either limit their context (and therefore success) or compress their marrow carcass into a rewarding timeframe. Reviews for Christina Rosenvinge’s seventh solo studio album, La Joven Dolores, have been floating around the web since early in January. Our staff, however, has kept it under the radar in hopes of a more fertile season. Throughout her career, Rosenvinge’s excursion into songwriting has been serene, consuming, and melodramatic; anticipate such emotional complexity to garnish the new album as well.

La Joven Dolores opens with Rosenvinge narrating a love story between a soulless man, a godless character, and their surrounding habitat. Although gorgeously executed, “Canción del Eco” can easily drown some listeners whose idea of saga and personal inquisition doesn’t involve “walking melancholy through the forest” or discovering love through the reflection of the water. This really becomes an issue for those of us who can’t seem to get over Verano Fatal (her album with Nacho Vegas), where guitar riffs would take on epic duels with Rosenvinge’s flirtatious and celestial vocals. “Mi Vida Bajo El Agua” is the only resemblance to that femme fatale, a perfect mediation between the artists’ flowery fixation and the dangers that await outside.

A few years ago my sociology teacher told me he was afraid of devoted fans of Christina Rosenvinge; to him, they all seemed so fragile and yet so ready to kill. If I remember correctly, he even compared one of her albums to The Girl With The Pearl Earring. Truth is, she’s not subordinating her femininity to any social structure or emasculating the symphonic. Rosenvinge sings from the heart, from her personal intuition. Album best “Eva Enamorada” showcases her ability to craft lullabies that go beyond the army wife alcove to manifesting the human fortitude (and its painful aftermath) in an elegant fashion. Throughout La Joven Dolores, I found myself adjusting the volume a bit too much; it was as if I was syntonizing some kind of emotional intellect, disquieting yet picturesque at the same time.