This is an entry in an ongoing series for 303 Magazine, which will provide a range of local album reviews. It is our intention to highlight the talents of local musicians, whether veterans to the industry or newcomers. Like the bands, the album can be fresh or something we just haven’t had the power to take off repeat in the past few months. Check out previous entries in the series here.
According to Ariana Grande, God is a woman — a perspective shared by Armando Garibay (aka Machu Linea) on his divinely feminine debut album Girl. Imagined in a world of strobe lights reflecting off sticky packed floors, Girl represents those moments of vulnerability and bravado as the drinks get going and the endorphins flowing. However, the album isn’t the party starting barn burner you’d expect it to be. It’s a slow-burning, spaced out journey that takes the club to God herself — insistent on dancing — burning holes in the floor as much as each other’s eyes, both daring the other to give. In that regard, Girl is head music — an introspective narrative buoyed by propulsive beats projecting outward. It is less about the approach, rather the indelible desire of her body, soul and spirit.
At the album’s weakest points, “The Last Drop” and “Tiempo,” Garibay wiggles too far down the rabbit hole of introspection, abandoning the narrative in the throes of complete disorientation. However, the reggaeton-flavored “What Do U Want?” featuring KokoLa brings Girl back into focus. The funky track begs the question, knowing the answer to be as fraught as the heights Icarus was willing to soar. If it wasn’t already apparent, Girl is the story of desire, and the female body, long symbolizing desire, is the vehicle by which Garibay vividly paints the endless struggle. Rather than disavow its truth, Garibay tells it like it is — God is powerful, but sometimes the pull of desire is more.
Read more: 303magazine.com