Music

Ramona Cordova: The Boy Who Floated Freely

Ramona Cordova has crafted 11 songs that, while they might not quite come together as an album, are starkly beautiful nonetheless.


Ramona Cordova

The Boy Who Floated Freely

Label: ECA
US Release Date: 2006-03-28
UK Release Date: Available as import
Amazon
iTunes

Ramona Cordova, a.k.a. Ramon Alarcon, took his grandmother's name to record this project, and one-half a minute into the album it seems fitting. Cordova's falsetto is more gender-bending than any hair metal singer's could hope to be. His high, theramin warble is a perfect match for his heartbreaking brand of folk music. The Boy Who Floated Freely tells the story of a boy named Giver, who washes up on an island and meets, among others, a girl he falls in love with. The album seeks to track his trajectory and starts off strong. The Spanish-sung "Inside the Gypsy Bar" is full of hand claps and sweat and manages to pump energy into the album without relying on volume. "Giver's Reply" starts off with the boy pining over keys before the song breaks out in pan-banging as precocious as our young, wistful narrator. After that, the album settles into a pattern of simple acoustic folk tunes. Standing alone, songs like "Heavy on My Head" and "Sung with the Birds" are aching and wonderful songs sung with heart and originality. However, stacked together, the songs have a hard time coming together as an album, since the repetition of the guitar belie any trajectory of the album's story. Cordova's voice also might push a little too far in some spots, and while it might be trying overall, when he nails it his voice sounds as imperfect and beautiful as any you'll hear.

7
Music


Books


Film


Recent
Music

Man Alive! Is a Continued Display of the Grimy-Yet-Refined Magnetism of King Krule

Following The OOZ and its accolades, King Krule crafts a similarly hazy gem with Man Alive! that digs into his distinct aesthetic rather than forges new ground.

Books

The Kinks and Their Bad-Mannered English Decency

Mark Doyles biography of the Kinks might complement a seminar in British culture. Its tone and research prove its intent to articulate social critique through music for the masses.

Music

ONO Confronts American Racial Oppression with the Incendiary 'Red Summer'

Decades after their initial formation, legendary experimentalists ONO have made an album that's topical, vital, uncomfortable, and cathartic. Red Summer is an essential documentation of the ugliness and oppression of the United States.

Film

Silent Women Filmmakers No Longer So Silent: Alice Guy Blaché and Julia Crawford Ivers

The works of silent filmmakers Alice Guy Blaché and Julia Crawford Ivers were at risk of being forever lost. Kino Lorber offers their works on Blu-Ray. Three cheers for film historians and film restoration.

Music

Rush's 'Permanent Waves' Endures with Faultless Commercial Complexity

Forty years later, Rush's ability to strike a nearly perfect balance between mainstream invitingness and exclusory complexity is even more evident and remarkable. The progressive rock classic, Permanent Waves, is celebrating its 40th anniversary.

Music

Drum Machines? Samples? Brendan Benson Gets Contemporary with 'Dear Life'

Powerpop overlord and part-time Raconteur, Brendan Benson, grafts hip-hop beats to guitar pop on his seventh solo album, Dear Life.

Music

'Sell You Everything' Brings to Light Buzzcocks '1991 Demo LP' That Passed Under-the-Radar

Cherry Red Records' new box-set issued in memory of Pete Shelley gathers together the entire post-reunion output of the legendary Buzzcocks. Across the next week, PopMatters explores the set album-by-album. First up is The 1991 Demo LP.

Music

10 Key Tracks From the British Synthpop Boom of 1980

It's 40 years since the first explosion of electronic songs revitalized the UK charts with futuristic subject matter, DIY aesthetics, and occasionally pompous lyrics. To celebrate, here's a chronological list of those Moog-infused tracks of 1980 that had the biggest impact.

Reading Pandemics

Poe, Pandemic, and Underlying Conditions

To read Edgar Allan Poe in the time of pandemic, we need to appreciate a very different aspect of his perspective—not that of a mimetic artist but of the political economist.

Books

'Yours, Jean' Is a Perfect Mixture of Tragedy, Repressed Desire, and Poor Impulse Control

Lee Martin's Yours, Jean is a perfectly balanced and heartbreaking mix of true crime narrative and literary fiction.

Music

The 60 Best Albums of 2007

From tech house to Radiohead and Americana to indie and everything in between, the 60 best albums of 2007 included many of the 2000s' best albums.

Love in the Time of Coronavirus

Solitude Stands in the Window: Thoreau's 'Walden'

Henry David Thoreau's Walden as a 19th century model for 21st century COVID-19 quarantine.

Reviews
Collapse Expand Reviews

Features
Collapse Expand Features
PM Picks
Collapse Expand Pm Picks

© 1999-2020 PopMatters.com. All rights reserved.
PopMatters is wholly independent, women-owned and operated.