Live Concert Review: Alejandro Meola and Robinsones
September 3, 2015
Born and reared in Buenos Aires and now, currently based in NYC, singer/songwriter and composer Alejandro Meola has spent close to a decade writing and composing music on two continents as he released his first two EPs and 2 full-length albums internationally before he released his first two singles Stateside – “Please” and “Black Feathered Angels” last year. Meola’s Stateside debut, First Impressions was released a few months ago, and reportedly draws from Meola’s move from his hometown of Buenos Aires to New York. As Meola explained in press notes, “I could have called it First Impressions of New York easily…. It’s essentially the musical expression of this inner revolution I’ve experienced in the past couple of years since I first moved to New York from Buenos Aires. The people, the streets, the language, the bars, the food, the fashion, they are all imprinted in these new songs. Not mentioned once literarily in the lyrics but in the sound. The sound is different. And by different I mean new.”
Speaking of new, First Impressions really is a change in sonic and aesthetic direction for Meola, as the effort is comprised of five different episodes, with each episode being very different and yet connected by an overall feel and tone. Additionally, it’s the first album that features the Argentine singer/songwriter’s backing band, Robinsones which, derive their name from two sources — Argentine journalist and graphic novelist Hector Oesterheld’s El Eternauta and is a Castilian slang reference to the famed literary character, Robinson Crusoe. According to Meola, Robinsones are meant to be an ever-changing array of various collaborators across a number of disciplines.
A couple of weeks ago, I was at Piano’s in the Lower East Side to catch an extremely dapper and charming Meola and his Robinsones play their first NYC area show since the release of First Impressions – and what I can say is that the material off First Impressions sounds as though it draws from 70s glam rock, 70s AM singer/songwriter rock and grunge. In fact, my first impression (pun unintended) was that the material reminded me quite a bit of Ace Frehley, Elvis Costello and Ziggy Stardust-era David Bowie – but with a subtle grittiness, a sense of awe and an earnest, vulnerable and thoughtful heart. With that in mind, the set was mostly comprised of fairly straightforward but loose and seemingly effortless renditions of the material off First Impressions along with the slow burning and sensual “Please” and the swaggering “Black Feathered Angels” which were personal highlights of a rather quick-paced set that managed to reveal that Meola has an uncanny knack for writing incredibly catchy yet thoughtful songs.
Check out some photos from the set below.
(Photo Caption: Alejandro Meola and Robinsones performing at Piano’s earlier this month)
For these photos and more, check out the Flickr set here: