Thursday, November 15th, 2012

Ulises Hadjis – Donde Va

From Venezuela, it’s a guy who probably wouldn’t mind comparisons to Anglophone indie rock…


Iain Mew: Reminds me of “Sex on Fire”, without the sex, or the fire. Or Stereophonics’ “Dakota”, which that is basically a description of, but this is even more so. I don’t mean that as a negative! Hajis builds the new-wavey riffs up and ties them into intricate patterns with synths, and lets his voice just glide over the top of them. The results are very pretty and quite cheering.

Patrick St. Michel: This reminds me quite a bit of Stereophonic’s “Dakota,” except where that Welsh group blew the chorus up to cinematic size, Ulises Hadjis always holds something back during “Donde Va.” Instead of wasting the big moment right away, this song lets it bubble under the entire time. It makes “Donde Va” a good listen for nearly four minutes instead of just one.

Jonathan Bogart: The oscillator and the lock-groove rhythms are lovely; too bad he’s such a drip.

Will Adams: His voice never rises above a murmur, even in the cathartic vocalizing at the end. Even more jarring is that all of this takes place in front of such a propulsive backing (those galloping woodblock hits only quicken the pace). The stark contrast between narrator and music is surprisingly moving.

Brad Shoup: Not bad; it’s got the propulsion of a much more obvious alt-rocker with a mope-mouthed vocal approach that gets cut with jumps into higher registers. Definitely made for the closing credits rather than the title sequence.

Katherine St Asaph: If “soft rock” didn’t mean “adult contemporary,” it might mean this: propulsive but gentle, every note like a sunlit mirage. Also like a mirage, it disappears from memory within seconds.

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