Adanowsky - Ada

Ada, Adanowsky
Everloving Inc. Chile/France/Mexico
Rating: 59
by Carlos Reyes

For a critic that despises the Hollywood structure, I’m surprised to like Adanowsky over the years. The elaborate, fabricated characters he’s embodied, worn-off and killed are adding up to a pompous whole (think of the saturated character index by Johnny Depp and how hard it is to call him a versatile actor anymore). And yet, there has been a harmonious, almost mystical attractiveness to all of Adanowsky’s characters. To be specific, about the personalization of these guys. Particularly effective because, as of recently, we have believed in the notions of Adan as an Idolo or an Amador –characters that seemed fitting and weren’t preoccupied with social or cultural associations/appropriations. Adanowsky's latest reincarnation presents us with Ada, a reinvention that is man and is woman.

While we could accuse him of constructing Ada as a mere provocation of sexual and cultural natures, Adanowsky’s humanist rhetoric on being born from a man and a woman sure is more senseful than the airbrushed “sexlessness” reasoning portrayed in Marylin Manson’s infamous Mechanical Animals album cover. The explanation of Ada doesn’t make its creation be any less problematic though. “Welcome. Get ready to enter my world; open your heart, open your mind,” Ada instructs repeatedly on the album’s intro, unveiling a whole box of sexual politics and most importantly, potentially insulting the level of tolerance and progressiveness of his/her listeners. Presumption (in lyrical and highly polished musical passages) is Ada’s most recurring flaw. “My body wants to tell me something,” shouts the bridge in “Sexual Feeling,” unveiling a further deconstruction of Ada as a fetichized character that is subverted on its (presumed) social foreground and which, in effect, makes its character arc all that more commercially viable. Adanowsky has always been a good salesman after all, and a very likable one.

Past the problematic nature of the character –that is, subtracting the conceptual theorem of the album- Ada goes on a distance collecting dance rock artifacts and melting them with every synth that struck the FM airwaves in the late 70s and early 80s. Funk requires a great deal of ambition. The romanticized synth escalations in “Let’s Bring It Back” and the rapturing chorus of “Dancing to the Radio” reach grandiosity and showmanship, but lack surprise in their direction. Things go far better in a track like “Would You Be Mine,” where Ada affords moments of whimsical originality against the very familiar (yet skilled) borrowed pop hooks found throughout the album. Like its character, Ada feels like Adanowsky’s least personal record yet. Perhaps because in its wholesome theatric approach to afford a glam-nearing-dance American rock record, Adanowsky has thrown the sexual, asexual, and the all sexual into the same pan, offering a little more than a variant in the actual contents of the record.