Sunday, October 28, 2007

I tell you I, I'd feel a whole lot better if you took some time to shed a tear

Nineteen year old Chilean-born Norwegian singer Alejandro Fuentes first became famous when he took third in the second season of Norwegian Idol. He went on to release his debut album afterwards, but the sales of that album would be far eclipsed by the next record he was involved in, the live recording of the tour he went on with Kurt Nilsen, Askil Holm, and Espen Lind. 2007 has brought around his second solo album; he's currently on the second single from it which, in a good sign for him, is performing better than the first--it's currently sitting atop the Norwegian singles chart for its fourth straight week. With good reason, too--it's a great song.

Hell If I--a commenter last year described Alejandro's debut album as him basically just trying to make a David Gray album and, though my knowledge of David Gray is extremely limited and this is now Alejandro's second album, I think you still definitely get a similar vibe. I've heard disappointing things about his second album as a whole and so not picked it up yet, but with this song, Alejandro has definitely got it completely right--that chorus has got a heck of an earworm embedded in it, as does the whole song, to be honest. "Hell If I" manages to simultaneously sound smooth and sort of organic, a little rich. And really, if you bother to pay attention to the lyrics (and usually I don't--as long as they work in sound, that's usually what matters to me, not meaning), it's actually got some interesting sentiment behind it that's played out really well. The first verse opens with "I thought we had something special," which becomes "I thought we had something precious/even if I messed up;" then the bridge, that finds Alejandro admitting " I know I've lost my right to judge things you do" as well as " I must confess it hurts a little more then it should," before we move into that secretly catchy chorus, where he proclaims " Hell if I'm gonna cry because you found someone new" before admitting that he'd feel a lot better if his ex was more upset about the breakup, adding that " Maybe you didn't have to look so pleased/so good, so satisfied." I don't know, something about the whole "I know it's my fault this is over, but I can't get how happy you are with someone else out of my head--couldn't you act a little more upset about this?" idea gets to me. I mean, obviously the character he's singing from the perspective of isn't justified in what he wants at all, but since when has something not being the "right" thing to feel ever stopped people from feeling it? I think that's why I like the lyrics (when I'm actually listening to them)--there's a kind of universal sentiment behind them--and, when coated in this melody, which isn't in-your-face at all (if this was, say, an aggressive pop-rock song full of snarling guitars, I'd probably be a lot more upset about what he was singing), they're just so melancholy in a catchy appealing way that I can't resist--Alejandro may be able to muster up the macho "hell if I'm going to care that you're gone" posturing for a few seconds at the beginning of each chorus, but he can't manage the facade for long before he lets hints of how bothered he truly is slip in, with the music changing to match the change in lyrics, the energy and the strength backing off just as he does. Of course, all that said, the song still manages to end up feeling like it could be a great defiant sing along type of affair, so maybe the proper interpretation is a completely different one (or maybe it's just a case of bitter versus secretly sad). I'd still say the real reason I love this song is how catchy it is, but when I'm in the mood for depth (even if it's only mid-level depth that to be honest is still beyond me), it's there.

To buy Alejandro Fuentes's second album, Tomorrow Only Knows, go here (physical). The title song from the album was the lead single and is worth a listen if you like this song--it's happier.

Next up: something much more upbeat and poppier, though maybe not very appropriate for the beginning of the week.

6 comments:

Paul said...

see - you say he's like David Gray and it kinda puts me off. But i thought "well PPG is rarely wrong so i will continue with trepidation" and actually its quite a good song. I don't think i will be spinning it (do mp3s spin?) regularly but every now and then I will play it and be glad i have it. Like Moist with Breathe. Anyway, that is all i had to say!

Anonymous said...

oh I really like "stars" it is beautiful.
didn't have a chance to listen to his new album :)

turnaround

btw, I can't wait for the new Kurt Nilsen album, the last one was just GORGEOUS

turnaround

Poster Girl said...

Ha ha, well, to be honest, I know literally one David Gray song ("Babylon")--I'm not sure if he ever had any other real success here beyond that?

Yeah, Kurt's got another song from it (besides "Push Push") on his MySpace now--"Silence." It's pretty good! Wikipedia has this next album labelled as being country, though--not that there's anything wrong with that, but, I don't know, maybe it's just me, but "Silence" and "Push Push" don't sound too country. Well, a little, I guess. Oh gosh, the album's out today, isn't it? I hadn't realized it was so soon!

Anonymous said...

Oh, the next album next year will be country, this one right now is the pop album.

:)

turnaround

Anonymous said...

Oh I totally missed your Christian Ingebrigtsen comment. I loved his first album, just listening to the snippets of the new one, sounds good so far!

All at once these Norway guys release their albums, how annoying!!

turnaround

Poster Girl said...

Oh, thanks--that's what I get for not paying close enough attention! ;) Good to know! And I know, it's going to be very expensive!