- MA RAISON DE VIVRE TON AMOUR - CD REVIEWS
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June 17, 2009 by Justin Vellucci
There’s plenty to love about Ma Raison De Vivre Ton Amour, the second outing
from Dish, but the verdict is still out over the disc’s most engaging
attribute. Is it the vocals of Roberto Aguilar, the eerie way his wail
channels Jeff Buckley at his always-familiar, rock-inflected peaks? Or is it
the junk percussion of brother Nathaniel Aguilar, the jagged and inventive
backbone of the duo? No matter your answer, this disc, out now on ROA
Records, will transfix you – and for all the right reasons.
The disc begins with what, for lack of a better term, could be called a
spiritual number or even a work song, the voices multi-tracked over the
banging of a metal rail and a hubcap. But, after that 90-second
introduction, Ma Raison De Vivre Ton Amour kicks into gear with “Cold Is,” a
bright pop-rock nugget with plenty of hooks and a fist-pumping chorus. From
there, the disc simply carries you from one great moment to the next.
There’s “This Ain’t Livin’,” where Roberto Aguilar largely sets the pace
with a shuffling acoustic guitar, and “Tired of Writing Songs,” which
unfurls a lullaby guitar line over clattering percussion. On “Closer Dead,”
Nathaniel Aguilar dresses up a pensive verse with the occasional pop of
found percussion. On the sensual “Pictora” or the driving “Flutter,” the
junk, the way those notes spike and jump out of the speakers, nearly steals
The disc is also nothing if not diverse. At one turn, these guys are
refining the art of the low-key (the trippy “The Song I Couldn’t Say,” the
ballad “I Will Run For Our Love”). Then, without stumbling, they shift to
the grandiose, from the country-and-western-tinged “Letter To You” to the
excellent “Flutter,” which fleshes out its refrains with trumpet, trombone,
French horn and tuba.
There are too many great moments on the 16-song disc to list, from the jazzy
swing-and-sway of “I Saw A Bird” to the poppy humor of “Zombie Love Song” to
“Death and Romance,” which begins with vibraphone but ends a dirgy
barnburner. The disc ends with “Because The End Is Near,” where the brothers
Aguilar again accompany the proceedings with horns. But, here the mood is
reflective, a moment of pause at the end of 53 incredible minutes. It’s a
calming curtain-close, almost an antidote to the heightened pop-rock pulse
of it all. Not if only we could determine to which element of the band we
should pledge our allegiance.
Guess the only reason to write is because the album “rocks” or something,
though Dish has more of an eye on Southern groove surf music with Ma Raison
De Vivre Ton Amour like their pensive Orlando location would give them.
Stuck between two oceans but not close enough to either, this is the musical
expression of being influenced by the coast and the confederacy without
really being at either. (Update: their Myspace says Deland, so really that’s
the Atlantic, not the Gulf…I think the “expression” statement still holds
“This Ain’t Livin” gives us the classic line “I’m so hungry I could eat my
stomach” before morphing from a laid-back acoustic into a rowdy Ben Kweller
breakdown (if Ben Kweller is rowdy…). But rowdy enough to cause one of the
bros, Nathaniel to leave which kind of sucks…Dish bends and twists several
musical styles on Ma Raison De Vivre Ton Amour, I think I was told to write
by somebody something akin to the Cold War Kids, but I’m also thinking The
Raconteurs, so maybe they told me to write accurately. “Cold Is” the second
album track was recently on NPR, so maybe I’m way behind on this or NPR is
way cool. I choose neither, except I choose Dish.
Other faves include “Death and Romance” with upbeat melodic distortion if
there is such a thing; and “Familyl Tree” which follows the same slow, slow,
faster, slow, rock, rock, rock formula of some of the others mentioend here.
I hear they use a lot of pots and pans and random objects for percussion, so
continue to dish up this goodness. Hopefully the bros find ways to trade
music files over USendIt and keep this stuff coming.
jason - Posted on 26 April 2009
Last month brothers Roberto and Nathaniel Aguilar (aka Dish) released their
first full-length album, Ma Raison De Vivre Ton Amour. These brothers grew
up surrounded by music, and let it slowly brew in their own ways. Now they
come together, they discovered music together, and the pairing of Roberto’s
organic, genre-busting singing and guitar work with Nathaniel’s junk-gypsy
found percussion has been a decade in the making. What is most remarkable is
the energy that fills their live performances and surprisingly translates on
Is (song review)
Monday, April 20, 2009 by Mark Mansfield
Opening with a “My Sharona” rhythm track and catchy occasional falsetto
vocals, “Cold Is” get’s your attention from the start. Covering the ground
between The Kinks and The Smithereens, Dish has created a song that is
poppy,fun, and totally rockin’. Dish is a duet consisting of a guitarist and
a drummer that plays on a gypsy junk kit, but they’ve somehow hit onto a
sound that seems bigger than two people. The interaction of the dirty garage
floor guitar and the raw, organic, rattling of the junk percussion is the
element that transforms Dish into something that goes beyond their
influences. In other words, “Cold Is” is hot.
a Music, Art and Fashion E-zine
April 20, 2009 Review by "the labourer"
Dish is an indie folk band consisting of two brothers Roberto and Nathaniel
Aguilar from Florida. Their visibility in the Florida music scene ain't no
hazy, the combination of Roberto's sensible vocals and guitar play along
with Nathaniel's genius beat making process makes the duo prodigious in
They unveiled a new album recently, Ma Raison De Vivre Ton Amour which we
strongly suggest you to check it out. Find yourself involving in a string of
genre ranging from tenderly loved folk crafts to groundbreaking rock tunes
that keeps the crowd alive.
Favorable tracks from this album include Cold Is and Letter To You.
April 17, 2009 By Eryc Eyl
Filtering '60s pop and garage rock
through filial rivalry and junkyard percussion, Roberto and Nathaniel
Aguilar make heartfelt, heartsick indie rock that is clever without being
cloying, dynamic without being deafening and poppy without being pablum. The
wide-eyed optimism and ingenuity of the duo's minimalist love songs to life
are both endearing and energizing. Elements of lo-fi rock, folk and even
country mingle in well-constructed pop songs that fly beyond the limits of
expectations. While there's enough sophistication and complexity to suggest
an art school education, the earnestness and innocence that shine through
on Ma Raison de
Vivre Ton Amour (Your Love is My Reason to Live) suggest that school
didn't do too much damage to the artists.
April 17, 2009
Talented musical brothers Roberto and Nathaniel Aguilar (originally from
Maryland), but living in Florida, is out with a very nice full length debut
16 songs, almost an hour of music of great variation.
Small town into big town West Palm Beach and the resulting cash/clash.
Los Angeles recording. Pushed by manager Michael Lopez (Santana).
Sounds Strictly commercial, i know, but we are getting more superficial here
on the blog these days, so why not. Nowadays anyone can record at home. The
difference is that some use their time to practice, practice again, and
polish their good songs until they are actually good enough and ready to
present to anyone outside of the group of friends.
Let's focus on music that lifts you up instead. I really, really enjoyed
listening to this. These guys are talented, check these "secret machine(s)"
Another great song, is "letter to you", where Roberto (like he also does in
"Zombie love song") is using his Costello-influenced voice in an optimal
way: "Dish - Letter To You.mp3"
Other favourites includes "The song i couldn't say" (i love the awesome
light-suede/butlerish-guitar!), and "Flutter".
Here's a live performance (Copper Rocket, Maitland Florida Oct 10th 2008),
of one song from "Ma Raison De Vivre Ton Amour". The song is called "Closer
and the bird
i used to live within a 15-20 minute
drive of damascus, maryland, the hometown of dish. though i guess i’ve
technically been there many times, i have few memories of the place… serving
mainly as a necessary point to pass through while taking the back roads to
baltimore. i’d guess — and wikipedia confirms — the town’s main attraction
is a soft serve ice cream stand, which i never understood the appeal of…
though, admittedly, i prefer the harder stuff. so i was a bit surprised to
learn of dish’s humble origins… they may just be the biggest thing to come
out of that town. though the apostrophized song title above is no surprise…
“"Second stage” review
March 2, 2009 - In addition to
sharing a similar upbringing, brothers Roberto and Nathaniel Aguilar now
have the same career trajectory as the two main players in the Florida-based
band Dish. At a healthy sixteen tracks, Ma Raison De Vivre Ton Amour, is
nearly an hour long, which gives the duo plenty of opportunities to explore
its talents. From the robust and lively percussion segments and the echoing
vocals in "I Saw A Bird," to the more somber sound of "I Will Run For Our
Love," their debut LP showcases a broad range of tempos and moods. With the
help of a few guest players and the inclusion of the viola, lap steel,
upright bass, mandolin, and piano, "Letter To You" has a rich sound
characteristic of the 8-piece indie-pop-orchestral band Margot and the
Nuclear So and So's.
Unexpected polyrhythms are the hallmark of Dish's unique sound. Nathaniel
regularly incorporates random found objects like pieces of sheet metal,
gutter pipes, pots, pans, and hubcaps in the mix. Far from sounding like an
amateur drummer or a street performer banging away on overturned buckets,
Nathaniel successfully navigates his expansive 'drum kit' in creative ways.
Whether whimsical, minimalist, or powerful, the various percussion styles
effectively mimic the mood of each song on Ma Raison De Vivre Ton Amour.
Posted 2/23/2009 8:50 PM EST
It's always a good thing when bands
from Florida start to gain notoriety. Our little neck of the woods has been
quite active as of late and Dish certainly hope to keep up their pace. This
duo from Deland, made up of brothers Roberto and Nathaniel Aguilar,
discovered music together and now years later are actually making music
together. Their album, Ma Raison De Vivre Ton Amour is probably the best
thing to ever come out of the Deland.
Artistically, Dish are just about all over the map. They're like indie rock
gypsy's wondering genre's and cross pollinating them in an effort to
something that's hypnotizing and intriguing. At times the succeed as they
occasionally sound something like Radiohead if they were playing power pop;
it's those moments when the band are at their best. Other times though, the
band tend to get lost on their quest falling into some sort of folky
quagmire that brings down their energy level and nearly drags Ma Raison De
Vivre Ton Amour with them (see "Zombie Love Song").
Utilizing all sorts of hand made percussion, acoustic guitars, vibes,
programmed beats, and synths, the band is able to make just about any sort
of song they choose to and about four or five songs in they have. The
loungey acoustics of, "Death and Romance," serves as a perfect example of
their songwriting philosophy. Opening with some jazzy, loungey, vibraphone
action the song gives way to acoustic guitars and then blows up into a
soaring distorted blast up to heaven. It then comes back down to earth and
uses some beats to move the song along just far enough before it takes off
again. It's a crazy littler rollercoaster ride of a song that crams just
about everything in the bands arsenal into a tune that's under four minutes
For the most part, Ma Raison De Vivre Ton Amour is an impressive debut.
Dish's ability to create jumpy songs that fuse genres together like super
glue is truly a good thing and the album benefits form this repeatedly. It's
only when the band decides to slow things down and get "jam bandish," that
Ma Raison De Vivre Ton Amour suffers; hopefully Dish stays away from the
coffee shop folk and sticks to writing scattered pop songs.
Book’s Music cd review
Brotherly love is the name of the game here, as Nathaniel & Roberto Aguilera
use music as their toy box to create the kind of mind blowing rock, folk,
and pop that would sound good with munchies and ludes. They have been
compared to everyone from Beck, The Flaming Lips, and Neil Young in terms of
making music that feels spontaneous but is as unpredictable as… now let me
talk about this for a moment. You buy albums and I don’t know about you, but
I like to hear what an artist is capable of doing, and the more variety
there is, the more I want to embrace the authenticity of that. Perhaps this
is why they call themselves Dish, because if you were go enter a restaurant
with no name, and everyone had leather bondage masks on and gloves, you
would have no idea who or what they were. But you are given a dish in the
dark and are told to eat. You begin to eat. You taste, and you don’t know
what the hell it is but the taste is exquisite. This is Dish.
Ma Raison De Vivre Ton Amour (Roa) translates to “your love is my reason to
live”, and the songs could be considered the many variations of love. They
are comfortable in bare bone acoustic ballads as they are in delivering an
intense distorted crunch with noodles, so you just take it all in and try to
figure it out at the end, or not. I know I’ve said this many times in other
reviews, but this is the kind of band you wish you had heard a long time
ago, as they sound like the kind of pride that once existed, or at least the
pride you felt went into hiding. The secret is out and the answer has been
revealed: grab a Dish, and do it with all senses open.
2009 ROA Records