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El Perro Del Mar
El Perro Del Mar
Control Group CO
www.elperrodelmar.com


Sarah Assbring almost follows in the suit of Chan Marshal, an amazing one woman show with a great alias to hide behind. El Perro Del Mar, meaning the sea dog, is Sarah Assbring's chosen stage name. Like the sea, her voice is beautiful and cool, but in its beauty remains very blue. The timbre is unusual, but still pleasant to the ear. The paintbrush that is her voice paints images using soft strokes while the colors she uses are somber tones.

On a whole, the self-titled album has a bittersweet sound. Assbring's voice rings out with a sort of saddened urgency while a chorus of voices provides support. The main vocal line almost sounds as if she recorded the album right before she was due for a good cry. The background voices provide a nice medium between solitude and a breath of freshness.

Much of the album has influences drawn from a late fifties/early sixties standard pop song. Background voices ooh and aah and mix in the occasional sha la la la. The song "Party" even features a chorus of "be bop, be bop be lou lah." Assbring's voice, however, does not make these traits sound cheesy or ultra poppy. Instead, her sullen voice, filled to the brim with melancholy, adds flair to the background vocals. She manipulates this classic characteristic and makes it conform to what she wants. The doo wops behind her, in the end, seem to echo the same despondency that the main vocal line carries.

From track to track, there is a common theme of sadness, and this is exemplified more in the repetitiveness of not only the lyrics, but also the musical structure. These songs are constructed in a very simple sense. The layers are there, but few. While more often than not, repetitiveness, not only musically, but also lyrically, is often constituted as poor artistry; in this rare case, it works. Her loneliness which she discusses in the track "This Loneliness" embodies her style in the sense that her feelings and emotions are in their purest form. "This Loneliness ain't pretty no more/ Loneliness only taking the place of a friend." These lyrics are clear; she's lonely, and loneliness is the only friend she has. This clear cut idea works in tandem with the orchestration. It's apparent what she's feeling and she doesn't need to have fancy ornamentation. The idea is basic, and as a result the music is, too. El Perro Del Mar is simple, melancholy, and beautiful.

-Teresa Moreno

Track Listing:
1. Candy
2. God Knows (You Gotta Give To Get)
3. Party
4. People
5. Dog
6. I Can't Talk About It
7. Coming Down the Hill
8. This Loneliness
9. It's All Good
10. Here Comes That Feeling


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