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She/La Dame Blanche

La Dame Blanche taught me that there is no easy review. Listen She a first time and I had the impression of having heard it in a thousand other voices, with its autotune occasional, the backgrounds of early 2000s pop and hip hop. Then I was annoyed by a lot of gratuitous vulgarities and the occasional comfortable rhyme.

There is no easy review, I repeat. I listened to the album twice, then a third and so on until I reached the fifth. I decided to let him rest for a while, then I thought about an interview but our schedules did not coincide. I assumed I wasn't capable of reviewing it, admitted defeat, and moved on. 

But it so happens that La Dame Blanche gave me a second lesson. The obstacle, the discord, the deafness was mine. She had conceived a record, her part of the dialogue was done. The one who wasn't ready to listen was me.

I want you to understand me: being a woman, black, a migrant in some way and a worker in the arts —if that's what I could call her— I expected a conceptually complex representation, with a high-register discourse, perhaps artificial, in an equal representation. I confess that I came to his music predisposed to find an artist who articulated powerful and cultured lyrics with melodic experimentation. I admit I expected She, his musical production of 2020, an impressive album, rebellious against the traditional symbols of power. I wanted a Dame Blanche on my terms, but she's very clear on hers.

That was my third lesson: to typify a revolution is to collude with its detractors. It was then that I paid attention. The great value of every artist is to be authentic and sincere with his audience, but more so with himself. Yaité Ramos manages to be authentic behind La Dame Blanche, without grandiose ins and outs or artifice. That annoyance I felt when listening to it for the first time is its true virtue, because that discomfort warned me that my shields as a black feminist, frontline in favor of otherness, were getting dusty. I prejudged her, as if there were only one way of being and being. 

His is then the mission of questioning not only those who traditionally sit on the right hand of power, but also those of us who are very comfortable in our supposed left. As she herself said in the believer, "There is no wrong done or wrong said."

***

She it is an album guided by sorority, but not in gloating of victimization. From his statements there is an accusatory desire, denouncer but without Manichaean militancy. His female subjects love and cry alike, confessing their suffering and pain, but also their choice to put up with the oppressor. 

The album opens, not surprisingly, with a religious statement, the believer, the one who asks the saints for everyone. As she invokes the saints, she provides abundant spirituality to those around her, to other victims, to other weak who depend on her. This generous woman in pleasure, sensual too, is in The unconditional and The mentalist.

the condemned knows well the frustration of those who suffer the weight of discrimination due to their origin and race. Dame Blanche denounces the underestimation, the contempt to which she is confined: "I have an unideal physique and your clothes make me uncomfortable (...) She tells me calmly, black girl, take that broom / For the vacant position I think you are very lazy", but they are also the answers, the resilience, the dusting off and walking: “And I kept on holding my head high / Giving my people the best of me / And I kept asking for mercy / To be lucky enough to survive.”

The "they" represented by La Dame Blanche also become victimizers, taking advantage of the spaces that the oppressive system leaves them. the girl sings to autonomous pleasure and the mulatto unites all women under the banner of insubordination, "Black, white, Indian, mulatto." That nerve to smile on the face of the tyrant, is in the nod to pleasure independent of the male opinion "And we dilate ourselves." 

the exiled and the battered They don't ask, they don't beg, they don't cry out. Both themes represent someone who goes beyond anger to indifference. then give to She a logical conclusion of one who fights and defeats his enemy, speaking to him in his language as a colonizer and in his terms as an abuser. 

Of all those women She outline, I stay with The distrustful. Of all, it reminds me that he who hates, swallows poison and sleeps with one eye open. More than a song, it is a warning: whoever always sees wars outside, will never have peace inside. Thank you, La Dame Blanche. 

***

Perhaps because of what is good, if brief, twice as good, none of the ten themes of She They arrive at four minutes. Also because sobering, if light, better. 

Although zigzagging at times, She it has a successful cohesion in its musical production and arrangements, as well as its rough aesthetic, simple but effective at being confrontational, belligerent. However, at times some recurring effects intended to be elements of coherence, are redundant and parasitic on the album.

I think that Yaité Ramos is marked by one of the indelible masculine imprints on every woman, the figure of her father Jesús Aguaje Ramos, weighty voice in the artistic direction of the Buena Vista Social Club orchestra. Also because of the ways of doing and saying that permeate a predominantly masculine gender. Yaité yes, but La Dame Blanche, no. She regurgitates the past, points, criticizes and exposes itself.

I repeat that this was not an easy review. It forced me to turn the prism, to review and take ground from the elitist that I have hidden but also to admit it. More than a late review, it was the payment of a debt that I didn't know I owed to Dame Blanche, to me. I'll try not to take so long to return the favor. On Friday, June 18, La Dame Blanche launched a new single, kill headquarters, that continues the path of She, and I promise to listen to it because I know, there will be another lesson.

Listen She here.

Avatar photo Gladys M. Quesada Degree in Spanish Philology, Announcer, Scriptwriter. Master in Communication Sciences. Convinced that there is life outside the Earth and life. Crespa by conviction, Philologist by vocation. Voracious consumer of series and music. Eternally, guajira girl. More posts

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  1. Senén Alonso Alum says:

    Very good. A tremendous lexical domain, of surgical precision.

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