Friday, March 09, 2007

Review: 12 Segundos de Oscuridad by Jorge Drexler

Jorge Drexler is the kind of songwriter who cheerfully explained, near the end of his concert at Town Hall on Tuesday, that he had based a song on the laws of conservation of matter and energy: “Toda Se Transforma” (“Everything Transforms”). In that song the heat of a kiss has repercussions reaching distant galaxies.

Subtlety went a long way for Mr. Drexler’s concert. Alone onstage with a nylon-string guitar and some electronic gadgets, he had a rapt audience leaning in closely to savor his pensive, puckish songs. Mr. Drexler won an Academy Award for “Al Otro Lado Del Río,” a song in “The Motorcycle Diaries,” but he didn’t perform it.

Concentrating on material from his latest album, “12 Segundos de Oscuridad” (Warner Music Latina), as well as a few older Latin American hits, Mr. Drexler had songs about technology, loneliness, religion, global interconnectedness and romance. One, which neatly summed up his perspective, was “La Vida Es Más Compleja de Lo Que Parece” (“Life Is More Complex Than It Appears”).

The new album’s title song, which means “12 Seconds of Darkness,” is about a lighthouse, insisting that the 12 seconds in which the turning light is invisible are as crucial as the light itself.
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