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coverpic flag Spain - Full Moon 82 - 06/14/03

Tuesday Afternoon
Things to do on a...
Fork Series

There is a new record on your table. You don't know who these guys are. You have never listened to them before, and you are not very sure of how their music is like. But for some reason, you are curious to listen to it. Chances are:

a) Your best friend brought it this morning and told you it's the best thing he/she has heard in quite a while. BAD: everyone likes to contradict their fellows, as if that could prove you can see what no one else can.

b) Your favourite magazine says it's a great record, and almost forces everyone to buy it. WORSE: you'll be wishing these lucky bastards are wrong again, because that will, one more time, make you think it's you who should be writing in their place.

c) A writer of that magazine is one of the members of the band. THE WORST: "man, not only does he write that stupid articles, but someone has allowed him to release an album!!!"

So yes, option C is correct. Borja Duñó - singer, composer and guitar in Tuesday Afternoon - also writes for Mondo Sonoro, one of the most popular music magazines in Spain. And yes again, my first reaction to their music wasn't too good.

But the problem with this record does not have anything to do with Borja and his rock'n'roll articles. Of course. Even if he wrote about sunbathing lotions, that would still be ok for me. So maybe it's me, and I'm not prepared to face an American-classic-rock-like album infiltrate in my "post-noise-cool-core" everyday diet. More than maybe. But then not again. My copies of Exile on Main Street, Rust Never Sleeps, Wildflowers or The Southern Harmony Musical Companion might've been storing dust in the shelves for quite a while now, but all of them are awesome records, and I will never say a word against them.

The things is, you can talk about cars and roads, but you mustn't ignore the dust, smoke and noise they leave behind. You can pity yourself for broken hearts and lovers gone, but should never forget the passion and pain the game provides... And most of all, you can be a great singer without a Van Morrison or an Eric Burdon throat, but please don't try to fill this biological shortage with tricks and falsettos, because it will at least sound fake and forced (if not ridiculous as in "Sixteen" or "Help me (to change)").

A look at the lyrics won't help too much either. "Our car is our beautiful friend, its love never ends. We drive it all day and night and it never complains" ("Shame, shame, shame"). Wow, really?? "You are a worker you're so tired but you still find strength to pick me up if I have fallen down" ("Mountaintops"). Believe me, I never liked Prefab Sprout, but I always thought their "some things hurt more than cars and girls" response to Bruce Springsteen was at least a good incentive for every songwriter to avoid repeating what has already been said over the past few decades. And that happened almost 15 years ago...

Despite this awful first impression on the album, my next divings on it were at last rewarded with some enjoyable moments. The harmonica in "High and dead" sounds real and well-fitting, the melancholy and the violin in "Mountaintops" seems to work after all, and the guitars in "Starving" and "The other side" are addictive enough to make you want to listen the song until the end. Even the seven minutes of "Lost and found" are not the eternity they promise to be at its beginning. But that's that; moments.

You can have an excellent musical background. Sure your band can play well. And you can be lucky enough to release an album and get a bit of attention from the media. But you need songs. You have to make them show something. And, if it's possible, they have to show something more than your love for rock'n'roll.

Don't misunderstand me. This is not a bad album. This is mainly a boring album. And as the main character, this is a spotlight over Borja Duñó's face. But I'm just not sure this light makes him look good.

Copyright © 2003 Luis Mata e-mail address

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