Oriana Setz Changes for the Better on Metamorfosis
Oriana Setz’s Long Player Metamorfosis, set to drop worldwide on January 24, is full of numbers with elaborate, or dare we say extravagant, production. We’re not just talking about a cast of characters that ranges well into double digits on instruments as varied as quena flute to the accordion. The tunes are characterized by dramatic introductions, pronounced breakdowns spotlighting an assortment of solos, and the big voice of the vocalist herself that accomplish much more than most musicians attempt in today’s conventional radio playlists.
Although there’s only seven songs on the collection, the amalgamation of these disparate efforts really comes together on “Pendulum Effect”, with its heavy dose of acoustic guitar and a bouncy, nuanced bass line to follow suit. The track teases with a trombone, eschews the drums for the duration of the first verse, and adds a tasteful splash of strings for good measure. Best of all is Setz’s melody, a delightful scattering of notes that works equally as well on the chorus, hook, and especially the ad libs, which soar with her pretty sounding ‘ooh hoos’.
“Pieza Perdida” is another study in songwriting and production craftsmanship. The majority of the nearly four minutes and twenty second affair is fairly standard, although convincing in the richness of the percussion. However, things really get good when everything—including Setz’s vocals—go stunningly quiet with about a minute left: all save for the deliciousness of the acoustic guitar, which chimes along enchantingly. Gradually the percussion picks up, as do the rest of the instruments, for a fantastic, flourishing finish that makes the song.
“Pastel Lilac” is a moody ballad that exemplifies the virtues of live drumming—or perhaps programming sounding so realistic it could’ve sprang from a decent set of cue sticks. The cut is also notable for the breezy woodwinds which at times sound strikingly like a flute. “Tres Paredes y Un Grito” is likely the most radio friendly number, and the last in a long line of singles and videos to precede the album’s release. It exchanges the acoustic guitars for the electric variety, and just might contain a sample or two for those prone to seek such things. The degree of sonic sophistication evidenced on the album proves that whether singing in English or Spanish, Setz leaves a lasting impression on Metamorfosis.