“Laberinto” [Labyrinth] constitutes the fifth album of original material released by Uruguayan rockers La Trampa. Alongside La Vela Puerca, No Te Va Gustar and Buitres the band possesses immense popularity in the country; and like the aforementioned bands, it has been making inroads in the Argentinean market.
This time around there is a strong presence of both Uruguayan and Argentinean folk music in the compositions (all penned by guitarist Garo Arakelian), which coupled with the traditional approach of the band results in a captivating listening experience. The entrance to this particular labyrinth is not that unusual, though: “Puente De Estrellas” [Bridge Of Stars], “Las Décimas” [The Ten-line Stanzas] and “El Poeta Dice La Verdad” [The Poet Tells The Truth] are classic La Trampa, competing with the best moments of preceding albums such as “Caída Libre” [Free Fall] (2002).
However, come the fourth selection, a “zamba” (an Argentinean rhythm, not to be confused with the Brazilian “samba”) titled “Ronda De Lenguas” [Round Of Tongues] and the thread abruptly disappears, leaving the listener wondering how to proceed. The bands playfully leads him through a maze of gentle songs interspersed with harder-sounding offerings, until “Vagos Recuerdos” [Vague Memories] signalizes the way out. Along the way he is bound to find “Canciones Al Viento” [Songs To The Wind], which combines a measured introduction with an energetic conclusion, emphasizing the will to transcend of the lyrics (“Quiero una canción que vuele cuando ya no vuele yo/Que se haga viento en el aire cuando no respire yo/Quiero un viento que te cante cuando ya no cante yo”) [I want a song that flies when I no longer fly/That becomes wind in the air when I no longer breathe/I want a wind that sings for you when I no longer sing] and the salient “Pensares” [Thoughts], bearing the most realized chorus of the whole album, alongside a pensive guitar solo that complements the lyrics perfectly.
Several songs are dominated by a wistful mood (“Araucaria”, “Alta Mar” [High Sea]), which at times clashes with the defiant attitude La Trampa had exhibited in previous albums. But it is difficult to significantly fault the compositions – the lyrics in particular evince a maturity and dexterity that shows they truly have come of age.
Both “Las Décimas” and “El Poeta Dice La Verdad” (the first single to be taken from the album, and the only track whose lyrics were not composed by Arakelian; they are taken from a sonnet by the Spanish poet Federico García Lorca) received ample exposure in Uruguayan radio, effectively becoming the songs the public readily associate with this album. But those willing to immerse themselves in the labyrinth are going to relish the experience. Ultimately, “Laberinto” stands as another quality offering from a band that has set a standard of excellence, and that has become an indelible part of the Uruguayan scene.
The band’s official website can be reached here.