An avant-garde delivery with a relatable message is how I would characterize Mr. Corazon’s release Return of Corazon which is theatrical, yet sometimes shy; (visually) startling, yet never abrasive or horrifying; hopeless, yet hopeful at the same time. It’s a roller coaster.
The album was released on February 17 under The Sonic Frontier. According to the artist, himself, Mr. Corazon was a character in a musical called The Misfortune Of Others until positive reception lead him to graduate from producing lo-fi songs recorded on Cubase to mixing and mastering collaborations with Zona Sound and Infrasonic Sound in Los Angeles.
The album begins with “Movin On” a track whose title is pretty self-explanatory in terms of its message. “When you came around, my elevator started going down,” hints at a relationship that hurt Corazon in the end, leaving him in a place lower than before. It also foreshadows the journey that lies ahead of Mr. Corazon. Throughout this piece we’re being told a story of love loss, a search for life’s answers and even a bit of societal cynicism that’s developed along the way..
Mr. Corazon’s vocals are pretty charming on this record. He never trips up, even when his emotion, alone, seems to dictate the tone of his voice on songs such as “Tomorrow” and “Fourth Of July” where the singer really digs hard into conveying a sense of lost hope. The most recurring vocal technique on this project is Mr. Corazon’s long, held-out notes, often strung with a vibrato that brings to mind RENT’s Adam Pascal. In the more haunting moments of this record, I couldn’t help but to reminisce on Andrew Lloyd Weber’s infamous, “Music Of The NIght,” from The Phantom Of The Opera. His voice slowly wanders into a lost place the further you get into the world of Corazon. It’s chilling, yet oddly refreshing.
There’s certainly a darker sentiment weaving in and out of the ten-song album but some of the instrumentals are exciting and, dare I say, vibrant at times. “Virtual Humanity” is a track that lacks the vocal presence that Corazon shows on most of the record, but the glitchy sample used to portray Corazon’s view of the shallow reality in living in a technological world speaks louder than the lyrics. His words do, however, evoke some truth that most millennials would probably relate with nowadays. “I feel all alone / Everywhere I go someone’s on the phone / No one looks in my eyes anymore.”
There are accompanying music videos on four of the album’s tracks, “Virtual Humanity,” “Under Your Spell,” “Return Of Corazon,” and “Soulmate.” The videos are, for lack of a better word, wild. “Virtual Humanity” depicts a barely-dressed Mr. Corazon moving to trippy graphics one would find in a Panda Bear music video. Corazon wears mime-like face makeup and stares attentively into the camera lens with a microphone, morphing his eyes into light beams while disappearing and reappearing in virtual space. It’s bizarre, but the message is clear: sometime ago, we allowed ourselves to become lost in cyberspace, leaving behind the socially healthy nature of human interaction.
Mr. Corazon initially came off as an uber-artistic album about battling life’s challenges in modern society, but by the end of the record, I began to better understand Corazon’s motives for expression. The artist from Los Angeles told us that Mr. Corazon is a condensed ten-song version of a longer 30-track narrative compilation. Well, now I’m curious to hear more. This record will make you ask questions about Corazon’s backstory, while allowing you to interpret your own tale of his life, which is what makes Mr. Corazon a fun roller coaster to hop on.
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