Friday, August 7th, 2020

Javiera Mena – Corazón Astral

She’s amassed all affection…


Katherine St Asaph: Dramatic and sumptuous — the bodice-ripper violins are particularly great — and less of the heavens than earth and creased flesh. And is that Vendredi sur Mer I hear on the verses?

William John: Sometimes I’m not sure what’s more memorable — “Luz de piedra de luna” itself, or its description as a paragon of excellence comparable to the Sistine Chapel from contributor Andrew Casillas. I’m still floored every time I listen to that song, and dream of one day hearing it in a public place. Of its many unforgettable traits, its clattering drum patterns are perhaps most firmly ingrained in my mind, guiding the listener through that daze of a chorus, amidst Javiera Mena’s hollering and the barrage of insistent synths. “Corazón astral” doesn’t have the same frantic energy as that magnum opus, but what it does have is an approximation of those same drum patterns, which here punctuate each phrase of the red-blooded post-chorus, and which get one’s heart to race in much the same way. Add some melodramatic strings and some of Mena’s horniest lyrics, and the result is pure delight.

Will Adams: Mena’s proclivity for cut-glass synths and gauzy washes of sound throughout her work already evokes the feeling of lounging on some otherworldly beach, which is perhaps why “Corazón Astral,” while unsurprisingly gorgeous, feels a bit on the nose. Or maybe it’s the static melody that keeps this from feeling like the interplanetary odysseys she’s known for.

Iain Mew: Javiera Mena has perfected astral disco to such an extent over such a time that hearing her in full flight is a bit of a softer pleasure these days. The highlights come in all of the adjustments around the edge: Mena breathily taking inventory before setting off, the slash of booming The Knife drums, and the way she plunges into darkness between segments of the strings.

Alfred Soto: In this most fraught of seasons we need Javiera Mena, who singest of summer with full-throated ease, backed by a fingerpoppin’ rhythm track and synthesized strings playing a melody wet with Ibizan seaspray. 

Leah Isobel: I feel extremely Seen And Heard by the way “Corazón Astral” funnels queer desire through astrology; it’s a great, campy idea to hang a song on. Meanwhile, the sexily mournful violin adds depth to its humid, guiltless lust, rendering it in full 3D. In other words, this is a bop.

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One Response to “Javiera Mena – Corazón Astral”

  1. John Grady of All The Pretty Horses makes me feel weird talking about the sexual tension within the Spanish language (especially when the basis of most of it was just long-winded “exotic” fetishization or memeable senior-quote-material dialogue), but the way Mena aspirates the end of each word for a fraction of a second more than usual (as compared to, say “Flashback”) is so exposed and intimate and warm and sensual (plus, the fact that my mediocre Spanish knowledge can decipher this) makes the atmosphere perfect; it’s like sprinkles of corporeal-cum-celestial dust on top.