Listening to Max Capote is like being transported to the late 60’s or early 70’s and finding yourself with a glass of cognac at some smoky lounge bar with red velvet walls and red leather booths and chairs with a singer like this Uruguayan Grammy nominated newcomer (nominated for Best New Artist in recent edition of 2011 Latin Grammys in Las Vegas!). His new album Chicle is as sticky as a juicy watermelon bubble gum!
Unfortunately, I was not there to meet Mr. Capote, but Justino Aguila of Billboard Magazine was and he got a chance to not only interview the man, but also hang out with him while in Vegas. It is Justino Aguila who introduced me to Max Capote and who first told me about this singer -songwriter…all I have to say is: I was blown away by his sound. The description given to me by Aguila, which I later read on Billboard.Biz, was beyond accurate.
Let me put it to you this way, if the Blues Brothers and Amy Winehouse would have conceived a child, it would have been without a doubt Max Capote. With a raspy voice reminiscent of El Tri’s Alex Lora, Max Capote serves camp, and throwback Latin rock that thanks to its guitar riffs and organ wailing (Maria Carolina track) unavoidably makes you think of yesteryear when you perhaps were a kid sitting in your mom’s living room on flowery couches covered in plastic, in those days when women had their hairdos higher than a beehive and the time when baby blue eye shadow and thick eyeliner was all the rage… that’s Max Capote from a stylistic point of view.
It’s hard not to think of Amy Winehouse, like Aguila points out, but when you hear about Capote’s musical influences, ranging from James Brown, Jerry Lewis and Little Richard to other Motown masters, it’s easy to understand his infatuation with that era’s sound. It’s hard to pick a favorite track, because they’re all so unique and pleasant to the ear. My only complain is that the tracks seem to be too short…either that or he’s simply just that good that you can’t get enough of his voice and the nostalgia in his sound. The album includes a revised version of the classic Perfidia, which he masterfully transforms from a bolero into his own, giving it a rockabilly twist that well, only Max Capote can get away with.
Think of Max Capote as the 21st Century version of Enrique Guzman (Los Teen Tops) or Cesar Costa, a very well produced, stylized and superbly arranged modern rockero with as much of a hint of a relentless playboy as well as a man of eternal mystery.
He definitely fills a void in the scarce Latin male alternative rockers field that the likes of Gustavo Cerati and Miguel Mateos left empty some time ago. If he plays his cards right, Max Capote may just be the replacement we’ve all been waiting for. In my book, this guy will have the last laugh at the Poker table.