Mexican-American multi-instrumentalist, songwriter and producer, Maximiliano Lambarri has just released his debut full length project, the audaciously titled ‘Dreams of Utopia. Maximilliano, who goes by Muvieli, is the sole active member of the project that plays as a live band. Presently based in Los Angeles California, Lambarri has shared the stage with Latin superstars such as Alejandro Fernandez, Ninel Conde, and many others while working as a session player at the start of his career.
Muvieli is a solo project to Lambarri in the same way Tame Impala is the solo project of Kevin Parker. Lambarri writes, produces, and records all the material, but of course has a live band to take his act to audiences. The project’s name, “Muvieli”, hails from Max’s experience with an indigenous Mexican ceremony wherein a shaman bestowed the name on him.
With varied influences that range across the gambit of rock music’s own diverse timeline, Muvieli brings forth a new sonic journey that is characterised by overwhelming guitars, ambient synthesizers, powerful bass tones, and silky yet gruff vocals. It’s both old school and modern all at once.
Last year, Muvieli relesed the irresistibly catchy pop rock tune ‘Lola’. On the new album, Muvieli has refused to shackle himself to that undeniably succesful sound. Dreams of Utopia is a rollercoaster of differing soundscapes that each provide a new musical journey to listeners. The synths on Lola were far too intriguing for me to ignore, and the album in totality does not disappoint one bit.
Much like many other artists, the onset and hardships that the pandemic threw onto us all inspired Max to begin writing his first album. At its core, he hoped to illuminate and pen a piece that would inspire, allow us to hope, and to endure this hardship while emerging stronger on the other side. It’s a poignant project, one that is immensely positive.
Of course, all of this should be abundantly clear from the name of the album itself. Dreams, however radical and unrealistic they may be, do offer us a way to imagine a better future.
For me, the album’s highlights can be found in the latter half. ‘For the Thrill of It’ sounds like a powerful piece of sing-along arena rock. The chorus, “And so I go, go , go, go, gp for the thrill of it/For myself, down, down, down, for the sake of it” is just annoyingly catchy almost. It’s got an almost 80s rock energy to it that just adds to how endearing it is. ‘Could it be’, a slower and more morose piece, sees Max’s singing at its best. The vocal performance on this track is exemplary. And the closing piece, a piano rendition of his hit ‘Lola’, is perhaps even more beautiful than the original. It lacks any vocals, but it remains equally touching. It’s melancholic but hopeful, charming but sullen. It truly showcases the sheer gambit of musical talent that Muvieli possesses and is the perfect closing track to this eight song lone album.
For those who enjoy diverse styles of rock music, particularly ones that don’t really adhere to any strict genre, ‘Dreams of Utopia’ is an ideal pick up. If for nothing else, the positive vibes that the album exudes is bound to brighten your day.