Review Summary: Flirting with Sorrow Telanovela Style
Silvana Estrada was an artist with whom I was not acquainted nor familiar with prior to listening to Marchita and I am now eternally grateful to Anthony Fantano for recommending this album because I would have never crossed paths with it otherwise. I like to think that I love all types of music and am willing to experiment with my listening choices and this record was one of those experiments that really paid off. While I generally listen to rock or metal type music, I have been flirting with softer and different strains and genres of music. So, let’s jump into this unexpected masterpiece…
Immediately within the first tracks of the record, I find myself fully immersed in the sanctity and absolute emotional weight that Estrada’s voice carries. Whilst I am not a fluent Spanish speaker, I did feel the conviction in her tremendously versatile delivery and could only imagine the pain she was feeling. The prominent themes of love-lost and sorrow really pulsate through the emotional gravity of Estrada’s vocal delivery without even knowing what the lyrics spoke of until after my first listen. Each track feels like a magnifying glass digging through the shattered remains of Estrada’s heart and mind. Every aspect of her performance is gorgeous and is the absolute highlight of the entire record.
Being a passionate heavy music listener, I’m often times more focused or even infatuated with the instrumentation on albums and songs rather than the lyrics or vocal performances at times. While Estrada’s voice really cuts through this album and shines whole-heartedly, there’s something to say about the nuanced and minimalist approach to some of the acoustic passages that slowly or abruptly at times break into these amazing swells of orchestral and string-based instrumentation that really compliments the emotion and power behind the vocal performance. Tracks like Te Guardo, Sabre Olvidar and Casa really exemplify that.
After several listens now, I’ve come to realize that each track really feels like a vignette painted on a brick wall. Each vignette ties beautifully together to create this over-arching story of an addiction to a lover who’s not worth the time. I feel as if watching a telenovela that has just an extremely gilded and luscious score in the background.
While the entire record’s runtime is littered with gems, I found Casa, Te Guardo, Carta and title track Marchita to be especially poignant and memorable. I loved the instrumental outro. It was a bit unexpected, but it totally fit the record and capped it off in the best possible way. If I really had to be nitpicky, the track Un Dia Cualquiera felt a bit like the weakest link while still being a really good song amongst spectacular tracks. This is a definite recommend for those who enjoy quieter, nuanced and emotional listening experiences. Its qualities are endearing and ultimately make this one of the most special and potent listening experiences of 2022.