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Heating Up: RH+ Debuts Stateside
3 February, 2009, 10:12 PM
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The heat is on for the Chilean ensemble RH+ as they release their American debut Quintana Roo today. Veteran performers for over seven years, singers Fernando Lasalvia and Ximena “Nera” Munoz deliver a unique blend of diaphanous vocals over a dynamic mix of driving electronica and ambient tones.

From the get-go, “What About” sets the pace for the album and ushers listeners into a warm, expansive space; Lasalvia and Munoz’s interlaced vocals are a pleasant dream that encapsulates you.

“Perry Frankie Miller Gajardo” is downright spellbinding. Though Lasalvia sings, “I never thought that I was dressed in blue,” the delivery of this introspective number juxtaposes his melancholy with happiness. This juxtaposition is highlighted in the music video [below] in which the protagonist erupts into riotous laughter at its conclusion, belying Lasalvia’s sadness.

Current single “Curb” and the thumping guitar of dance-driven “Rockinsol” propel the album to new heights. Munoz ponders on “Rockinsol,” which is a huge hit in Chile, “What is wrong with your life?” Again, RH+ is asking listeners to reposition themselves and perhaps enter another dimension via Quintana Roo‘s musical odyssey. At this point, the tracks coalesce into a package of songs that belong together; there are no throw-away tracks that seem out of place.

On “El Elela,” Lasalvia sings in Spanish, while Munoz accompanies him in English,  and the song is reminiscent of a drug trip with its lo-fi feel, fuzzy edges, effects popping up, and the hypnotic synthesizer fading out like a damaged record player.

“We’re falling in love,” Munoz calls and Lasalvia responds on “The Right Room.” Lasalvia and Munoz’s vocals are layered with instrumentation and a voiceover together splendidly underscoring their quirky sound. This song is the soundtrack for late-night driving through dream-lit city streets.

Rounding out the album with “Shuggie Ortiz,” Lasalvia slows down and his voice moves from sexy to tough to truly tender when he declares, “You are my everything.” Munoz does not join him until the song is nearly over, and the sudden presence of her voice accents its absence from the rest of the track; this is his testament and she accepts it.

The final track, “The Sing of the Golden Urg” links up the voice effects of “Sambacunta,” and “Hell is Not A Safe Place.” Playing the songs off one another helps to render the album very intimate, and the organic sensations and imagery push conceptual boundaries into another sonic dimension—creating that expansive effect.

This album has much to offer and trying to pin it down is like trying to pick out just one star from the sky; read into the lyrics and pull out political nuances or the religiosity associated with the album’s title or the linguistic interchanges or say it sounds similar to the likes of Broken Social Scene or Air. This album is for those looking for something a little off-the-beaten-path. 


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[…] into riotous laughter at its conclusion, belying Lasalvia’s sadness. Read full review here:   […]

Pingback by Nacional Blog » Blog Archive » Heating Up: RH+ Debuts Stateside

[…] do you think I was to see RH+ on XLR8R’s  weekly newsletter sent out today? You can read the review I did of their new album Quintana Roo, you should scope out “Perry Frankie Miller […]

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