Kiki D'Aki - No Mires Atras

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In recent years, there has been plenty of ink spilled in Spain about those heroes and heroines that in the early eighties captured attention of both media and public through La Movida madrileña (an explosion of cultural creativity and hedonism in Madrid between the late seventies and early eighties). Maria Jose Serrano is one of the living legends and a true musical reference as member of Las Chinas and catalyst of Kiki D’Aki. The sound of Las Chinas should be classified as related to Girls at our best, Dolly Mixture, Fabienne Delsol or Shop Assistants. Kiki D’Aki serendipitously emerged later as a project that brought the Spanish pop music of the era to dignity and to the highest standards of sophistication. Her signature cut was to bring all the intellectual headiness of Madrid, Paris and your local classy café to pop music. Kiki is smart, not frivolous; careful, not troubled; creative, not pretentious; beautiful, not arrogant; vulnerable, not insecure. It was in the current decade after more than 25 years away when Kiki christened our label with two excellent records under the production signature of Ramón Leal and Guille Milkyway (Mi Colección-2003- and Villa Flir-2006 respectively). The return added quite a new fervent fan base in many countries to the quintessential cult-status in Spain. No Mires Atrás features Antonio Galvañ (Parade) as producer, a supreme pop craftsman of perfect melodic pop, harmonies and hooks galore. María José Serrano and Sergio López de Haro form a sophisticated duo who can find in simple forms something utterly engaging and communicative. Their creativity, maturity, skill, and depth culminate in songs that are breaths of fresh air, pure pleasure on the ears. The resulting album of the musical marriage of these 3 geniuses is an absolute tour-de-force. No Mires Atrás is about time. And not in the sense of Tempus fugit used by Roman poet Virgil (time flees). Time is somehow "an extension of the mind itself” and not a real problem for Sergio and María José. And it is clear that our experience of time is deeply affected by the movements of our mind, and it differs radically from one moment to the next, and from any phase of life. One of the most valuable qualities of good music is its ability to transport you to a moment in your past, a place you'll never see or somewhere that doesn't even exist. And this full length is a musical odyssey across time through a real and imagined landscape of dreams and memories, all related to time. Yet, the record is wonderfully cohesive. It is full of beautifully manicured pop. No Mires Atrás is the perfect escape, a dreamy place to visit. There's a certain sense of melancholy running throughout the songs, but this is often belied by the sinuous upbeat music, which often takes unexpected yet totally natural twists and turns. The album captures the same effortless intimacy she brought to pop long time ago, each song lulling you into a pleasantly dreamlike state, drifting into moments both beautiful and genuine, and sometimes vaguely unreal. The detailed arrangements reveal more with each listen. Choosing highlights would be arbitrary at best (no bad apples here) but there are real hits as “El otro día”, “Azul”, “Historias de detectives”, “Cumpleaños feliz” or “Cuando llueve”. Kiki D’Aki is in her own league. The unique arrangements and breathtaking melodies set Kiki D’Aki far above contemporaries. Sergio López de Haro has been creating big songs for her and packing them into very small gift boxes. You will enjoy this CD the whole way through, enjoy every present, every detail, every second.

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