Cooper - Mi Universo

(ELE1161: 8428846211619)
Release date: 11/21/2011

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We are not, now that we’ve come this far, going to stop talking about Alex Díez’s incredible career, neither as the frontman of COOPER nor of the legendary LOS FLECHAZOS. His voice, his style, his character, everything that surrounds his legend, are still there and will continue to be, for everyone who is lucky enough to enjoy them. We are celebrating all of this, because we finally have what we were waiting for, a new collection of songs in a new, full-length album.

And COOPER’s songs speak for themselves; they speak about the mood and the situation of their author, and they transmit all of this in a magical and tremendously exciting way. But this time more than ever, it all comes together. Because “Mi universo” is probably Alex’s most personal album, and even the title is telling us so. The recording process was done with the greatest attention to every detail, in the legendary Konk Studios in London, which were founded at the beginning of 70s by Dave and Ray Davies (THE KINKS). Artists like BLUR, THE STONE ROSES, THE ARCTIC MONKEYS, SUEDE, SPIRITUALIZED, THE CHARLATANS, Elvis Costello, THE BEE GEES and, of course, THE KINKS themselves have recorded in there. The Konk Studios represent a sound, a way of understanding music that Alex Díez is a part of in the music scene. It is that spark, that combination, that has made the magic that is emitted by every sound on the album and what makes this, his fourth album, the best of his career.

The album starts off with a declaration of intentions full of force and energy (a live version of “Mi universo” was previously released as a special single for Record Store Day), under the sign of redemption and self-affirmation. “Quién pasó demasiado tiempo / adoptando costumbres de caracol / Ahora no queda más / que sacar tus tristezas al sol” (Those who spent too much time / adopting the habits of the snail / Now there’s nothing left / but telling the sun your sorrows) is a hit. “Alicia” is a restless sleep, beautiful, with a beyond perfect concept of pop, not too far from a perfect cross between THE BYRDS, TEENAGE FANCLUB and Josh Rouse. Though the most striking thing about this song may be that the last lines of the song perfectly sum up the feelings of grown-up revelations that run throughout the album: “Que el mundo nunca será / como cuando está dormida / todo es tan triste y extraño al despertar” (The world will never be / like it is when we’re asleep / everything is so sad and strange upon waking).

“Cortometraje” is a sepia-toned postcard, a new look back to see that time does not forgive, but the song is full of the vitality of the best power pop, with flavors from both sides of the pond ranging from groups like THE THRILLS or ATTIC LIGHTS to VELVET CRUSH or FOUNTAINS OF WAYNE. Among these cinematographic similes there are bittersweet lines like: “Rodaste esta secuencia / cambiando de reparto / Yo ya no tengo opción / en tu guión” (You filmed these scenes / with different actors / I don’t have a place anymore / in your film).

“Primer día” is a song for his daughter that reflects all of the fears and terrors he’s seen, and he looks at his little girl, knowing that she’ll grow up with her own fears. But a song like this, in Alex’s voice, with those urgent, husky guitars… it’s one of the most marvellous things about this album and about COOPER’s career in general, they achieve just the opposite effect of all the fear in the lyrics, and give off the necessary strength not only to deal with those situations, but to do so with surprising vitality.

“Saltos de esquí” represents life without a safety net, with the clear and present idea: “Ya está aquí el invierno que mil veces yo soñé / Ahora siento su aliento en mi cara al descender” (Now the winter I dreamed of a thousand times is here / I feel its breath on my face as I descend), once again with dreamy choruses and harmonies full of fantasy.

“Arizona” steps it up a notch, highlighting THE BYRDS again, but this time spurred on by THE JAM. It’s a good demonstration of the perfect balance between perfect melodies, energy and rhythm, and a pure pop spirit. “El regalo”, on the other hand, pauses the album on a new song that is looking for its emotions under the umbrella of fatherhood, between THE BEATLES and Billy Nichols. Harmonies and impossible melodic developments create a bittersweet, melancholy mood.

“La señal” is a song that shows us that all of these confessions are nothing more than open questions; the guitars are on fire and they are looking for their place with the KINKS themselves (who else?) and the best tradition of Spanish-language pop. Just after it, “En la basura” steps on the gas and sets the intensity to the maximum, as if LOS SALVAJES were furious about not being able to turn their amp up louder. Indignant lyrics and all the power necessary to get your heart pumping hard.

For the closer, “Carrousel” is a revelation, musically speaking, within Alex Díez’s career; at moments it approaches THE STONE ROSES, with urgent, angry guitar arrangements. The structure is complex, constantly changing, with a high intensity levels right off the bat and a complete ecstasy that closes “Mi universe” on a high note. It also has dark lyrics, as dark as we’ve seen from the man who once fronted LOS FLECHAZOS, reaching the point of even being disturbing: “Desde ayer ya no brilla el sol / Pues su luz se diluye en tus lamentos / Desde ayer se apagó mi voz / Y no sé liberarte de este infierno / … / Y gira el carrousel por última vez” (The sun hasn’t shone since yesterday / because its lights is darkened by your sorrows / My voice has been silenced since yesterday / And I don’t know how to get you out of this hell /…/ And the carousel spins one last time)..

The album, creatively and lyrically, marks a new chapter for its songwriter. The album will make a royal entrance with an online virtual tour for the ten days prior to its physical release. Each day, one song from the album will be presented, with a video for each one, on different online platforms, blogs and music magazines.

TRACKLIST: 01. Mi Universo 02. Alicia 03. Cortometraje 04. Primer Día 05. Saltos De Esquí 06. Arizona 07. El Regalo 08. La Señal 09. En La Basura 10. Carrousel

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