Very difficult to put on words (…) ROCKDELUX David Saavedra
With Juan Carlos Roldán we have learned to enjoy the prodigious drawbacks that dispersion carries with it. Now, with his third album, this artist from Merida reaffirms, and elaborates further, his deliberate gamble on disparity (which throughout his career has become increasingly nonnegotiable), while at the same time becoming something of an expert in forcing the limits of conventional genre. Titled Espero que dure, this new musical outing is another exciting excursion through Roldán’s own universe, which is as labyrinthine and changing as it is fabulous.
If something defines Espero que dure, it is the successive exhibition of intimate confessions, all with suggestive surrealistic episodes, all threaded by his deep, deep voice, zigzagging through the tangle. In fact, his lyrics—far removed from sentimental obscurity—reveal a sort of tenderness, nonchalance, and even a certain sense of uneasiness in the best sense of the word. Everything, at the same time while counterbalancing his musical ambience with morphosyntactic simplicity and strict literality. It is precisely these latter tools that, on the one hand, Roldan manages to emphasize certain haikus—for lack of a better term— and make them hummable, almost as if they were advertising jingles: To wit: “Cascanueces” -Los atentados suicidas es un problema real ‘Suicide bombings are a real problem’/ la auto-corrección de texto es un problema real ‘Autocorrect is a real problem’/ la vanidad de la izquierda es un problema real ‘The vanity of the left is a real problem’/ el crujir de mis zapatos es un problema real ‘The squeaking of my shoes is a real problem’ (…). And on the other hand: At the price of reducing and dissecting discourse into the atomic unity of meaning, Roldan in turn manages to condense all semantic intention right there, from a simple statement, from his self, to dictate his vision about reality.
It is important to clarify that apparently predominate in the eclecticism of the disc—interludes that recall frontier rock in “El caos, reina” or in “Patio,” the rhythmic underpinnings that alternate traditional patterns of percussion (Juan Carlos is the rhythm section of Lorena Álvarez y su Banda Municipal)—is accidental, puerile, and has more to do with the fact that he is a visual artist as well as a musician. In reality it is neither here nor there so long as the song provides satisfactorily in strict musical terms, because there is much more going on. Unlike most pop composers, for Roldán it is all about plotting, doubling, ripping, and manipulating things in order to turn the song into an IDEA, and never the other way around.
(…) María Sánchez Díez