Can I Borrow a Feeling?
Delorean is a kind of alternative dance-pop band from Spain, which is slightly interesting because no one ever talks about a new band from Spain. Their latest album, Apar, follows up a largely well-received 2010 release. It seems like they hit the ground running a couple years ago and have been gaining speed ever since. Appropriately, Apar starts off strong. The opening of the lead track “Spirit” is textbook optimistic pop at its best. Upbeat drums overlaid with brightly sequenced synth lines and… oh yes, there they are: choral melodies. They really lay it on thick, and it seems to be going great.
Unfortunately, it all falls apart relatively quickly, and at an extremely precise moment: one minute and forty-five seconds into the song, someone starts singing. It’s a letdown from which no group could easily recover. This is nothing personal against singing. It’s just that when such a bright and catchy tune is finished with such a lackluster vocal lead, it’s hard not to feel ripped off. Aside from that, the band is pretty good. They’re definitely working on the throwback to early ’80s new wave that so many other bands have latched onto, but it doesn’t feel too tired here. What does feel tired is another amelodic and apathetic-sounding New Order wannabe behind the microphone. People seem to forget that “Blue Monday” marked the exception to a rule about singers, not the beginning of a fantastic new style.
While the band powers through tightly woven melodies and catchy riffs on songs like “Walk High” and “Still You,” vocalist Ekhi Lopetegi drones on and on in a tone that gives off distinctly off-putting aura of too-cool-for-school apathy. Some might say that his delivery recalls the half-spoken style of Mark Knopfler. It sounds more like he just doesn’t care. Not caring, unfortunately, isn’t as cool as it used to be. While the cool-kid air of Apar may not be strong enough to turn everyone away, it represents the continuation of a trend that deserves to be put to death. Musicians everywhere seem to be afraid to care about what they do. It’s impossible to hide a lack of passion, and that’s exactly what is wrong with Delorean.