May 19, 2008

Sie7e's New CD

So I just happened to catch on iTunes that Sie7e has released a new CD called Para Mí.

But wait... who is Sie7e? Okay, I have to admit that I don't really know much about the guy except that he's Puerto Rican. I just happened to catch one of his videos in Puerto Rican MTV one night while flipping channels and ended up enjoying the song. And about two weeks ago I figured out that his first CD was on iTunes, so I downloaded that, then lo and behold there's another one.

So I buy that one (got to support poor artists, you know). And... I don't know. It does show a lot more musical experience and just tighter sound overall, but I was really unhappy to hear the new version of his single; it has lost the looseness of the original. On the other hand, there are a lot less slow songs (I hate slow songs)--but the one song where it worked on the old CD was a song called "Y Te Vas", a very unoriginal song but beautiful regardless, and on this CD there's nothing to replace that.

One of the highlights on the CD is a song called "Te Repito", which has a chorus about repeating the chorus over and over again so that it sticks in your head (get it? the chorus is about the chorus... yeah). It's a parody of all the songs that are popular just because of that catchy chorus, while also discussing how he has to compromise his lofty career goals with the music he wants to make, and how being "rockero" (into rock rather than reggaetón) shouldn't have to mean absolutely no interest in other genres, particularly latin (he mentions liking Vico C--older, more traditional reggaetón--and El Gran Combo--salsa).

"Rockero, latino caribeño
It didn't work for me cahntar con el aceynto*
La cosa complicada no funcionó
Sonaba muy bonito pero nadie lo entendió."

"Rockero, Caribbean latino
Singing with an accent* didn't work for me
That complicated stuff didn't work
It sounded pretty but no one understood it."
*this part he's singing in a really thick "gringo" accent, making fun of a lot of rockeros who try to only speak English or speak Spanish with an accent to seem more authentic.

That is followed by his "manager" yelling at him to include a catchy chorus and repeat it over and over again. It's a good point to make, seeing as most songs (particularly reggaetón) only get popular because of the chorus and hardly anyone actually knows the other words or what the song is about.

Anyways, not only the song but also the entire album is a great example of how to reconcile this "rockero" identity with Puerto Rican music, which many see as incompatible but really isn't. As a consequence, Sie7e mixes traditional Latin sounds with his own guitar playing and some catchy pop... if you're expecting an actual rock CD, look elsewhere, but if you want pop with a little more umpf, you've found it.

Well, almost. I guess the problem with this CD is that it still sounds intermediary. While many of the topics dealt with in the songs are good, they are not fully developed, and the songs, while decent, are also missing something. They're just a little flat. However, I would definitely keep following Sie7e's music, because I'm pretty sure in a couple of years we'll be hearing something more dynamic from him.

Here's the video I was talking about in the beginning.

The song is called "Cógelo ahora porque después se va" ("Get it now because soon it'll be gone"; a slightly smoother name in English would be "Get it before it's gone"). It's catchy and has a decent message, and I like that he insists on "pa'lante, pa'lante, pa'lante", which is kind of awkwardly translated as "(Go) Forward, forward, forward". Point is we always (individually and as communities) always needed to be reminded to advance with what we're doing and not get distracted in the journey.

In the end I do recommend the CD, but if you didn't enjoy the video I would skip it and wait for his future releases.

Still unsure? Check out this video where he includes a whole bunch of samples of the CD, and here is the video for the title song.

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