Argentinian guitarist Gustavo Cerati has gathered an impressive discography over the last 20 years: first as a member of Soda Stereo, one of the most popular latin rock bands of the eighties (8 era-defining CDs in ten years time), then 3 solo discs, and literally dozens of greatest hits collections, unplugged concerts, movie soundtracks, symphonic editions, collaborations and remix albums. And meanwhile he still found time to deliver groundbreaking producing work for artists like Babasonicos, Leo Garcia and Shakira.
No wonder that his latest solo album Ahi Vamos was eagerly anticipated in Latin America. As usual it's not an easy album, requiring a few times listening before the songs captivate you. But from the start it's clear that Cerati has again managed to keep up with contemporary music, of course adding his own personal twist to it. The first four tracks (Al Fin Sucede, La Excepcion, Uno Entre Mil, Caravana) feature fast British-influenced guitar riffs, a complete shift in genre from his last (mostly electronic) album. After that heavy intro, it's back to more familiar territory, namely eighties poprock (Lago En El Cielo, Me Quedo Aqui). His melancholic, almost theatrical voice still works very well in these songs. The only mistake on this album is called 'Dios Me Libre', a bad attempt to do punkrock.
Undoubtedly the best track on Ahi Vamos is "Crimen", the only song where Cerati uses a piano. It's irresitably beautiful, not only in the guitar-piano combination but also because of the lyrics.
¿Qué otra cosa puedo hacer?
Si no olvido, moriré
Y otro crimen quedará
Otro crimen quedará sin resolver
In short: a difficult album with a very specific sound, though after you heard it a few times you'll learn to love the melancholic athmosphere created by Cerati's eighties guitarplay.
US release is scheduled on april 20th. If you can't wait, there's an $18 import version on Amazon.
Gustavo Cerati - Crimen