There is good and bad in that. Sometimes cross-genre albums are too diverse to be embraced fully by anyone. Experimental is often less than appreciated, unless the singers and band already have a solid following. And yet, while this Mexico City native is just out of reach of my musical leanings, there is something that wants to be discovered here. It makes her worth a listen.
Many Places is inspired by her opportunity to travel the world.
Many Places is an album that leans heavily toward electronic, given that the compositions are the work of Robot Koch. Maria began working with him after moving from Mexico City to Berlin. Together, at least for Many Places, they seem to strike an usual and appealing balance.
Koch is more straightforward. And Maria is more apt to explore her art against the electronic and dubstep backdrop. But I'm not sure most people will discover the best of it. The first video from the album carries an instrumental arrangement that sometimes overshadows the her strikingly emotional tones.
While there is something likably haunting in Nothing Sale, Maria's best work can be heard on two other tracks — Many Places and Magic Bus. The title track Many Places works as a brooding indie alt-pop, with a very organic sound. Magic Bus has some theatrical underpinnings but retains its alternative edge with a jazzy foundation and licks on a Spanish guitar.
These two songs are the best, but all of it is filled with surreal and personal lyrics that will appeal to somebody. But what makes these two two tracks stand out against Little White Shoes, Meanwhile, and Through The Night, is that those three lean too much toward pop where Maria tends to lose the emotional tug.
Other songs, like Santa Ana Afternoons and Always are good for a single genre, but her accent drifts in and out. It's distracting. It's also while Sirius, also a beautiful song too, works well in her native Spanish.
When you consider how diverse the arrangements are, some people might say its a Robot Koch album as much as it is a Graciela Maria album. Maria has worked with Koch before, singing People Are Strange for his heavy electronic Death Star Droid and three tracks of Listen To Them Fade (look for feat. Grace). This time though, Many Places puts the focus on Maria's melodic talent. She is someone to watch on the fringe.
Graciela Maria's Many Places Travels To 2.2 On The Liquid Hip Richter Scale.
Project Mooncircle has a wide range of artists and photographers who produce and receive credit for the album art and other projects. They frequently bring musicians together for unique compilations, much like they did on Many Places. The concept is interesting, and it gives unnoticed artists like Maria an unexpected world forum for their music.
Many Places by Graciela Maria is available on iTunes. On Amazon, Many Places is available on CD or discounted MP3 downloads. Track two and track four are the ones worth consideration.