Saturday, May 1, 2010

Everything has changed for Latin rock group Camila

Scoring success with a debut album, filling the radio with your songs like “Todo Cambio”, sticking out of the crowd of similar groups, then taking four years off…doesn’t sound like the recipe to longevity, does it? True, many artists take time between albums. Sade was gone a decade, but come on, she’s Sade. Gone, but not forgotten, members Mario, Samo, and Pablo are back with Dejarte De Amar. Camila came out around the time of fellow Mexican rock/pop phenomenon Reik, and since then, Reik has released three strong records, now Camila is barely on their second, but do they catch up?

Always compared to Reik, Camila, now leaning towards more the lite-hard rock/pop sound, have shown to be completely different with their sophomore effort. The band captures their sound perfectly with the album cover: a sepia tone photograph of the band on ladders in the lake. The album is beautiful, shows growth, but at the same time gives room for progression of the band’s sound and songwriting.

“Mientes,” the first single, shoots to the sky right off with its radio-friendly riffs making for one of the best rock songs in the past ten years.

Perhaps the most stand-out track on the album, “Entre Tus Alas” sets the feeling of floating on water. It’s gentle, yet strong and perhaps has one of the strongest hooks ever used in rock music history. Acoustic guitars tinkle through the song like drops of water in the calm lake, and Mario’s vocals soak the soak in richness and feeling.

The title track allows the boys to pour a little theatrics into the mix. You could only imagine then with shiny capes and pyro to accompany the performance on stage. By far the biggest risk the band takes as composers. “De Mi,” the final track, takes the listener on an emotional journey through the musical wilderness, complete with tribal flutes. On the other side, “Nada” takes the listener back to the sweet sounds of vintage Camila.

Slower songs, like “Restos de Abril,” “Alejate De Mi” and “De Que Me Sirve La Vida” border on the sappy side, but are perfect for the times when you’re just laying there in the dark with that sexy someone.

If there were any real problems with the album, aside from a few filler tracks, it would be when usually background-vocalist Samo takes the lead. While Mario’s voice is beautiful and diverse, Samo gives the same breathy, whispery vocals throughout the entire album. Artistically, the vocalist tries too hard to be different, changing chords and melodies up when they need not change.

At the end of the day, it would’ve been so easy to have made a sappy-yet-try-too-hard-to-look-tough album like, say, Daughtry, but Camila not only took on the rock genre, they took it to the next level. With Dejarte de Amar, Camila go from “where are they now?” to the savior’s the Latin rock.

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