Cola Jet Set - Guitarras y Tambores

(ELE1141: 8428846211411)
Release date: 2/16/2009

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“Guitarras y Tambores” is the long awaited new album by COLA JET SET, the second in their career and their first with Elefant Records. It is a disc of wide horizons, on which the group, lead by Felipe (LOS FRESONES REBELDES, LES TRÈS BIEN ENSEMBLE) and Ana (LA MONJA ENANA) have scrutinized other stylistic limits: here we find ye-ye, sixties pop, disco, soul, indie and touches of psychedelic pop, all done with renewed intentions, as we can see on the opening track, “El Sueño de Mi Vida”, when it says: “I dreamed of conquering / unexplored continents / and still I don’t know where I’m going to live”. After some difficult line-up changes, and certain instabilities created by musical situations (record label changes, parallel projects) as well as by personal situations (which has left the band with the definitive line-up of Felipe, Ana, Joan, Alicia and Cristina), “Guitarras y Tambores” is the album that reflects this period, these comings and goings, these triumphs and failures, the malaise and the happiness of a long period in which sometimes some people won the coin toss and other times other people won, and sometimes it wasn’t so clear who won. And all of those references, all of the music that has played during this period of time, have only helped solidify the result. Doesn’t that first “El sueño de mi vida” remind you of Jackie DeShannon, with that 12 string guitar? Shouldn’t “Tonto Corazon” be on one of Atlantic’s best compilations of Northern Soul? And isn’t “Subidubi” the perfect homage to FORMULA V, with a certain breath of twee? Doesn’t “Durará” begin with something like the evanescent reverberations of THE CLIENTELE and suddenly sound like Chris Montez or THE VELVET UNDERGROUND of “Candy Says”? Doesn’t “En Esta Pista Ya No Se Puede Bailar” seem like an authentic disco hit from the 70s? Doesn’t “Nadie Nos Va a Parar” remind you of LA PEQUEÑA SUIZA or the first hits of LA BUENA VIDA? And this is to say nothing of the impressive disco of the new version of “Suena El Telefono” or the finale whose title says it all: “Cola Jazz Valz” (Cola Jazz Waltz). It’s clear that the love of sixties sounds runs through the whole album, that guitar somewhere between LOVIN’ SPOONFUL and THE BYRDS that Felipe has so finely-tuned over the years and that today has become one of the most personal and inspired in the national pop music scene, but the group as a whole has known how to make the period of time that has passed since their last full-length a period of reflection which they’ve used to demonstrate that their doubts have grown, their musical goals have matured and that their good taste has become absolutely exquisite. All of this makes “Guitarras y Tambores” a special album, a point of inflection in the band’s career that shows more than ever their profound love of pop music in all its forms and incarnations, from its roots to what it is and what it means today, spinning that around every emotional space that different musical exercises have left, and showing us that they possess and enjoy the freshness and vitality necessary to be such dignified representatives of the style. This, an album of guitars and tambourines, is definitively how they themselves would define classic pop - direct and effective. It seems like COLA JET SET have found the necessary stability (the evidence is in Alicia and Cristina’s participation in the composition and vocals) and the right path, here in Elefant, their new home, to definitively be one of the best pop bands in Spanish that has come out of this country.

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