Juan Waters sings and arranges songs that wrap up existentialism (see the title, Who Me?) within a parcel of upbeat melodicism. Waters isn’t afraid to disrupt though, dropping unexpected sonic elements into his tracks, such as audience applause in the middle of ‘She Might Get Shot’. On Captured Tracks.
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I enjoyed former The Beets guy Juan Wauters first record but at the time suspected that he would be spending his life trailing around playing shows to ten people before finally giving in and getting a real job. That image was kind of ruined when I saw him supporting Mac De Marco in front of thousands of pissed up teenagers - some of them even clapped.
I’m having a slightly harder time trying to figure out what it is that will appeal about his second album. It contains laid back three minute pop laments which reference Jonathan Richman and the Wave Pictures (no guitar solos). His English-as-second-language delivery and ‘...who me?’ schtick makes this come across as what would happen if Napolean Dynamite sidekick Pedro Sanchez made an album. It’s fun, it’s breezy, he’s having a great time doing it. Songs like ‘I’m All Wrong’ ooze slacker charm and add nice melodies to boot but the overall impression is that he has found a nice little niche and he’s sticking to it.
A lot of the songs are the type of thing that are made to appear in kooky indie movies and generally pass off without major incident but when he stretches himself a bit as on the Syd Barrett at a keyboard ‘Through That Red’ he shows that with a bit more ambition he could be a lot more than that comical Uruguayan guy that writes sweet songs. Still even on this he can’t help but sing the refrain ‘through that red I see your breast’.
He’s Pedro Sanchez I’m telling you.
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