Jordi Maranges is now an item of fixation for me. I liken the joyous effect of the whole Maranges package of this Ep to the Fool card in the Tarot, a figure that has no fear to hinder his pursuit of happiness. “Circo del Amor” is an Ep of songs that jump between bouncy, light-hearted spectacles, and heart-warming themes, done with fantasy and unrestrained emotion. If you’re a daydreaming, mystically-driven homo like myself, it’s easy to feel as though you have literally fallen under this man’s spell. Yes, there is a big Gay factor here, but in the tones of the original meaning of the word (as well as the obvious homosexual element). While I am here to report on his music, I will say that Jordi’s actual charm and charisma extends FAR beyond what is exuded by his work.
In short, the man is a living theater. He’s a crooner as much as he is vivacious, a natural showman, much like what is needed when one carries Cabaret influence. Very much someone who steals every scene he’s in. The most important thing about Jordi (ES)though, is the massive star-potential he holds. In fact, I though he already was at first glance. I came across his work being linked to a Concerts Privats Minifilms TV spot for a live version of a track that had been previously released on his “El baile de los cangrejos” album called “Miss Dilemas” . Thing is, this turns out to be the best version of this track. The production and direction of the video, a simple multi-camera (very sweet cameras from the looks of it) filming of an intimate apartment performance, adds to the total sum of why this version, at least in my opinion, is the best of the three out there, including the one in this ep. This version, though, comes in at a very close second. These two versions feel more downtempo when felt next to the original version, which, apparently, was one of those blood, sweat and tears affairs.
There’s quite a touching entry on Jordi’s blog about how that song came to exist . In Spanish, this page tells you how Mr. Maranges shared a very significant relationship with a woman whom he shared a kind of teacher and student rapport, and then how things nearly unraveled somewhere along the way because of the psychological and emotional heights of the years they shared. He works in how the themes of magic and supernatural that drive the lyrics of that song are born of his own forbearance with a spirit he claims has seen him grow up, and always comes when he calls. The song is among the most romanctic things I’ve come to know. It was a song that healed the wounds Jordi accrued, composed after a long period of separation from said Miss Dilemas. It’s catharsis done sweetly, with an air of the most positive intentions to move on, to crystalize the initial beauty of that friendship.
On the rest of the ep, one finds two tracks in English. I have to get off my chest that these don’t have the same effect, the same natural luster of a Spaniard singing Spanish, which is dramatic and seductive, and, above all, emphatic. I noticed that his voice is very similar to that of Beto Cuevas of the commercially successful Rock en tu Idioma band La Ley because of this. Both sing in the same three languages, Spanish, English, as well as some sparse French, but aside from me feeling Maranges’ voice is better, like with Cuevas, the tracks in which the tune is sung in English don’t appeal to me as much. They’re good tracks musically, but the real brilliance is on the native-tongued ones, like the decadently Pop title track, a super-queer, Smiths meets The Sugarcubes type of thing. Catchy it’s not, but fun as hell, yes. The other side of the Dandy Orchestra, his band, closes the album with the smokiest of the five, the slowest, one that has the lyrics “Antes de nacer, fun explorador de universes paralelos” or “Before my birth, I was an explorer of parallel universes”. Not quite the theme you would expect from the most classical-sounding song in the work, but the man gives himself every liberty to tell the most imaginative of tales. And he does it to terrific effect.
This is a work of tremendous joy. Truly. Perhaps the brightest thing I have ever written about. Other than obviously inspiring, it is intoxicating in unexpected ways. I can see the iconoclast in Jordi. I hope many more soon will as well.
1 Song for Ludwig
2 Miss Dilemas (vals 2012)
3 Circo De Amor
4 Strange Affair
5 Nostalgia #1