“Dry Martini” is the first single in LE MANS’ career, though this doesn’t mean they are beginners at all: apart from their first LP as AVENTURAS DE KIRLIAN, and until we arrive to the current “Saudade”, they had already released the albums “Le Mans” and “Entresemana”, as well as the colourful remixes mini-LP “Zerbina”, which had a well deserved acknowledgement both from critics and public. In the meantime, LE MANS have proved that they are not a singles band, at least if we consider them as songs that are capable of catching a wide range of people at the first listening -maybe with the exception of their successful “Un Rayo De Sol”-. In fact, “Saudade” is a record to be listened to calm, attentive and repeatedly, to be able to catch the whole essence of its serene beauty. If it wasn’t a bit daring to state this about a band who define themselves as “simply pop”, I’d say “Saudade” is a conceptual record, all its songs spinning around the same idea, and that we must look at it as a whole. A crushingly beautiful and painful whole.
Therefore, we must look at this “Dry Martini/Saudade” (the B-side becomes, this way, as important as the main theme) as an extract from the album, a window through which we can glimpse what we will find if we get inside the whole work. And what we find there is LE MANS’ most mature and personal record: songs that are all about such eternal matters as nostalgia, disenchantment and lack of love; grey, autumnal images, as Javier Aramburu’s splendid sleeve. The instrumentation is austere, naked, taking precedence, over all, Jone’s warm, smooth voice and Ibon’s guitar, once more paying homage to the great Nick Drake.
“Saudade” is a Portuguese term which means something like “sad longing”: it’s nice and reassuring to see how LE MANS have enough perspective as to define their music in such a clear, concise and, on the other hand, original way; while most writers keep on piling up clichés about their music, repeating them to satiation and using up their true meaning. “Dry Martini”, for its own part, has the most beautiful and moving lyric they ever wrote: a most intelligent thought about dignity in decadence, after a failed love affair. Moving, like the best art masterpieces.
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