Luis Mojica – How A Stranger Is Made

4.5/10

New York pianist, composer, and performer Luis Mojica has dawned his second album, How A Stranger is Made, unto the seemingly unaware world, accompanied by a little more incomprehension and identity confusion than intended.

With instrumentals fit for a Tim Burton movie, and some serious skill as a pianist and instrumentalist, you’d expect the artist in question to put some pressure on the quality of all aspects in this piece of recording. However, lyrics that almost never feel truly emotional, and vocals that feel quite forced and awkward permeate this record; which leaves me wondering how this makes sense in anyone’s mind. We’re talking about beautifully written piano scores, skillfully arranged instrumentals including celesta, harpsichord, saxophone, organ, and even the Wurlitzer. We can even greatly appreciate how organic it feels to hear a recording of acoustic instruments, mainly the piano. The sound of fingers hitting keys and hammers hitting strings, is purely a joyful thing, so it pains me to admit that this wonderfully delicate niche of naturalistic sound that Mojica has poked his head into is overpowered by a façade that is almost completely unnecessary. A façade of trying to come off as avant-garde, as a wilderness man who cannot bare much else than the true raw force reality, and trying to convey this energy that just does not seem genuine because it is not.

As a standalone album, completely taking into consideration all aspects, this is not a hit, but brushing this record off completely leaves us missing something with a great deal of potential. Mojica is a talented composer and instrumental performer, that should not be dimmed by a cloak that does not fit his inner self and talents. This is a lesson truly felt by those who do not falter in the face of trying something out, and falling flat. After all, the most sought after drug in the musical world (after total perfection and ultimate excellence of course,) is trueness to oneself.

Written by Talia Plante
*edited by Danielle Kenedy

About Talia Plante 39 Articles
A classically trained pianist from the Laval suburbs, Talia sees no other clear path in life other than her passion for music. An experienced music teacher and social bird, she seizes any opportunity to be with others. Being an avid psychonaut and lover of emotional connection, she can often be found at parties of any variety, likely rubbing her face on cats she’s allergic to, or somehow slipping into conversation that black metal and baroque music are really just close cousins. Her lifetime favourites include Black Sabbath and Liszt, and anything even remotely psychedelic, doom, or stoner-like. Her current dreams are to become the modern day Mary Poppins (umbrella and children’s laughter included), buy a van to drive across any drive-able land, and spread sunshine wherever she goes. If spotted in the wild, the best way to make her smile is to ask her anything…or offer some cheese.

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