He says George Drexler which usually has “compositional crises”. He has a hard time starting to write the songs for his albums, sometimes two or three years. And that this last stage, pandemic through, was even worse. “I used to think that songwriting was an absolutely lonely process, but the last beat of a song is always dialogue –confesses the Uruguayan singer-songwriter–. The songs are made to dialogue and I missed that, the return, the reflection in the other”.
“With this album I learned what I didn’t know”, he says about “Tinta y tiempo”, his new studio album, which premieres this Friday, April 22. “When I was coming out of the pandemic I started meeting people, and in that act of showing them the songs is that I finished them. And I realized that the songs were good and I was very happy. It was like falling back in love with the profession itself. I had the feeling that I was learning to write again”, add.
It is a production made up of 10 songs with an eclectic sound, which drink from different genres and rhythms. Something that is consistent with the artists that Drexler has invited to collaborate on this occasion: the Panamanian Rubén Blades, the Spanish C. Tangana, the Israeli Noga Erez and the Uruguayan Martín Buscaglia. Melting pot of nationalities, personalities and styles for these diverse times.
In that dispersed and fragmented musicality, Drexler recognizes himself. “Lately I have lost continuity in listening to music -admits-. Before, I used to buy a Caetano Veloso album and I had it playing for two months. I even knew the order of the songs on the albums I listened to in depth. But today the algorithm continually presents you with goodies. You listen to an artist you don’t know and the platform automatically recommends another similar one. If you are scattered and curious, you follow that path, and when you don’t realize it, you are already seeing a kitten jumping against a glass”.
He also writes about this topic in “Algoritmo”, one of the songs on the album, which reflects on how data can govern our lives. “I have no ill will against the algorithm itself, because it is a tool. It’s like an ax you can chop someone’s head off or build a house”, says the musician.
But it is also true that every time we give more responsibility to the blessed tool. “There are many resolutions that we are relegating to him –he says–. Some insignificant, like asking him which is the shortest way home, but others more important, like the one that helps you choose a partner. So Do we or do we not make our own decisions?”.
“I have no ill will against the algorithm. It’s like an axe: you can chop off someone’s head or build a house.”
Or as in the case of Instagram, which Drexler describes as “a great factory of illusions of happiness”, in which people show, between filters and poses, the most positive version of themselves. “The human being has always been a narcissistic beast -points-. From the first time she put her hand on a wall and spit ink around it to leave her mark and say ‘here I am’”.
Which does not prevent that, within the jumble of ‘instagrammable’ images, some authentically luminous moment can be rescued. Like the one he recounts in one of the best songs on the album, “The day you premiered the world”, about the first photo a father takes with his newborn son.
“In that first photo everything is already done – he warns excitedly. And it’s not just a photo of joy. There is also fear, and lack of sleep, and a little panic of what do I do with this? But it is the photo of a transitional state. A minute before you are one person and a minute later you are another. Everybody takes that picture these days, but of all the things we banally record, that’s not a banal thing. It is a personal transition. And I’m glad they took that picture of me”.
“Tinta y tiempo”, an album by Uruguayan Jorge Drexler, is available today on all digital platforms.