top of page

Drama - Rodrigo Amarante

No drama between jovial ballads and mature lyricism

By Ricardo P Nunes

    Rodrigo Amarante's most recent album, Drama (Polyvinyl, 2021), has something unusual, in a good way, since the title, which is the first track that composes it. But this is precisely one of the marks with which the musician from Rio de Janeiro always toasted his audience, who were certainly waiting to see what he was up to after nearly eight years of his last solo album, Cavalo (Slap, 2013), period in which he dedicated himself to directing short films and writing jingles and soundtracks, among other things. And the fans didn't miss out on waiting. His new album, although marked by the particularity that he dedicated himself most to probing the musician since the end of the band Los Hermanos and his partnership in Little Joy, the experimental and the performatic, brings renewed what delights them most: the melodic, and a very characteristic melodic one.

    In their work as a whole, some artists convey to their audiences a prevalent feeling that perhaps escapes them; Much in Amarante's music, whether he likes it or not, prefigures something of virtuous nostalgia. His hoarse and drunken voice prints that feeling in his grunge style. Having been linked in some way to rock pop for so long, one of the critics' most assiduous temptations is perhaps to try to frame Amarante in some genre of music, and since the beginning he has always evaded all of them. The very talent he exerts is by nature refractory to these kinds of dimensions and restraints; indie or MPB are just clippings of a musical dimension too diffuse to contain or place it.

    In songs like Tango, sung in English, in addition to the title or the ballet that an already mature couple performs in the clip against a white and misty background, there is no other trace of Argentine music than a certain and purposeful, but also warming, nostalgia; already the  tracks Maré e Tanto recover a little of the rhythm of the beautiful ballads that so rocked their enthusiasts in their early career and that they missed so much on the Cavalo album; the song Tara, almost baroque due to the disparate elements that it brings together, gives another sample of a very peculiar type of lyrics that can do without the melody, as already demonstrated in Evaporar on the occasion of the album Little Joy (USA, 2008), and where a bossavian beat is preceded by the metallic instrumentation of an old waltz; the introspective Tao is perhaps the lyrical peak, not only of this record, but of the singer's entire trajectory. The Drama album is a synthesis of Rodrigo's maturity, in which he manages to reconcile his old vein for melodic ballads with the intricacies of age that make us more and more skeptical and more attentive to what is really essential. Hail Rodrigo Amarante.

  • Instagram
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
bottom of page