Alvaro Soler: Eterno Agosto

soler2Here Comes the Sun

Listening Post 14. While summer headlines about Greek debt and the refugee crisis made it seem like Europe was coming apart, a throbbing, Latin-beat song about erasing borders became a smash hit across the continent. The song, El Mismo Sol (The Same Sun), is by Alvaro Soler, a half-Spanish, half-German, singer-songwriter, raised in Barcelona and Tokyo. His simple, catchy lyrics—“Let’s celebrate together, here we all are, under the same sun”—are wrapped in an irresistible arrangement (video). With no ax to grind, Soler leaves politics out of the conversation as he moves masses to sing about, clap to and ponder co-existence. Two months after the single’s release, El Mismo Sol appeared as the lead song on Soler’s 13-track album, Eterno Agosto, an impressive collection that offers odes to freedom, travel, love sought and love lost. His instrumental bag is a combination of tradition (guitar, accordion, ukulele, bass,) and modernity (Rhodes piano, Juno 106 synthesizer, Omnichord). An album co-star, occupying a spot that a less imaginative artist might have filled with a droning drum, is his xylophone. It’s front and center in Esperándote (Waiting for You), an expectant love song; and part of the broad mix in the up-tempo Volar (Fly) and in Lucía, a brother-to-sister song about what men really want. What fans are likely to want is more Soler. (Triebel & Zuckowski/AirForce1 Records/Universal Music Central Europe.)

 


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