Solo un Momento

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Vicentico's fourth solo album Solo un Momento marks a stylistic departure from the Latin path in which he seemed so firmly entrenched by now, either as a solo artist or as the singer of Los Fabulosos Cadillacs. This is quite surprising because such an avenue had been his ticket to international success, and also because for Solo un Momento he chose to work with Cachorro López, the hottest Latin pop producer of the 2000s. However, instead of a dance-oriented or hit-packed album, Vicentico and López deliver an album of songs that evoke the '60s sounds of bands such as the Shadows or the Easybeats. Argentine reviewers have described Solo un Momento as a sort of tribute to popular romantic crooners of the '60s and '70s such as Sandro, Leonardo Favio, or Nino Bravo. These influences may reflect predominantly in Vicentico's singing (he readily admits that he sees his solo records as opportunities to grow as a singer, rather than a frontman) but may be less apparent to international audiences, who on the other hand may immediately pin the instrumental background down as textbook garage/surf rock: three-minute verse-chorus-verse minor-key midtempo numbers, with rollicking acoustic guitars, melodic bass, fat spaghetti Western guitar leads, and vintage keyboards hovering in the background. This is the first Vicentico production (including his work with Los Fabulosos Cadillacs) that does not feature horns and percussion, and the effect is initially quite strange. Above all, Solo un Momento comes off as a very somber album. True, Vicentico's lyrics often bordered on the morosity of tango, but this was often masked by the exuberance of the Caribbean rhythms or the punk attitude of his previous work -- the superb Fabulosos Calavera being a great case in point. Furthermore, the main problem with going back to a stripped-to-basics pop song format is that in order to stand out you need either a brilliant melody, lyric, or vocal performance, and while Vicentico has become quite accomplished at all of the above, he is not quite one of the true greats. Precisely for this reason, the value of Solo un Momento lies in its impressive artistic coherence more than in its individual moments. In fact, when some variety appears during the second half of the album, it hurts rather than helps the cause, as it breaks the beguiling melancholy of this record -- the one uptempo track, "Morir a Tu Lado," for instance, feels utterly misplaced. In conclusion, Solo un Momento is a welcome surprise to longtime Vicentico fans who feared he was getting too deep into Diego Torres territory, even if it is odd to listen to a Vicentico album than feels closer to Mark Lanegan or latter-day Cure (as in the fine title track) than to Manu Chao or Rubén Blades. An eminently valid transition album.

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