Juango Dávalos’s “De Verdad” brought us our Fonogramaticos Vol.5 theme: “Te Quiero Ver Bailar.” It was love at first sight; the song is so classy it can barely restrain its dim melancholy. “Yo quiero vivir de verdad, te quiero ver bailar, yo quiero sentir, de verdad, lo lindo que es amar.” Just like Chile’s Pedropiedra or Teleradio Donoso, this young Dominican singer-songwriter belts traditional popular music as it critiques it. Not to say Davalos doesn’t sound contemporary, his composition just retains a glossy template of those gigantic ballads our parents grew up listening to. This confection and deeply emotional approach makes songs not only aspire for the transcendental, they’re thinking ageless.
As expected, Dávalos’s sophomore album Un Niño Antiguo (fitting title) has some other solid tracks; for those who like Adanowsky or Gustavo Cerati, this is a must. They go from the sexy/cabaretesque “Cancion a las Mujeres” and “La Muchacha Ideal” to the avant-garde pieces “La Vida Sobre Un Árbol” and “Tu Versus Yo.” There’s also a gorgeous texture surrounding “Los Discos Daban Vueltas” (features Alex Ferreira on vocals), circular rococo anyone? Considering Santo Domingo ranks as our third most popular city on page hits (behind Austin and Mexico City), I think you’re going to like this: we’re giving free wings to Un Niño Antiguo, it’s here for you to download on its entirely.