La Vida Boheme, 'La Vida Mejor'
Titled Será, the most recent album by the Venezuelan band La Vida Boheme was a Latin Grammy-nominated epic; a post-apocalyptic opera prima that feels like it's about love and life in Latin America, perhaps more specifically in the group's tumultuous home country. Either way, La Vida Boheme continues to play brilliantly with mixing industrial rock, punk, disco, jazz and Latin rhythms.
The song "La Vida Mejor" ("The Better Life") is a perfect example. Its nostalgic, Caribbean-infused guitar plucks — there's almost a Calypso vibe to it — rests on the frantic percussion that has become La Vida Boheme's specialty.
Lyrically, the song is LVB 101, oscillating between ecstatic joy and melancholy doom — and, come to think of it, isn't that Latin American Culture 101? "How could life be better?" singer Henry D'Arthenay asks, sounding as if he already knows the answer to that question. "How can I not cry? If I leave, you will not miss me." Like everything LVB does on Será, it's a sad song, a love song and a song about existential crisis rolled into one. Again, Latin American Music 101.
The video features legendary Venezuelan actor Miguel Ángel Landa, who peaked in the '80s and early '90s as the host and star of a well-known TV show called Bienvenidos. As an older couple engages in a karaoke courtship, the video highlights the melancholy and sweetness of the song itself. Video director Carl Zitelmann says of the project, "It's a karaoke extravaganza inspired by the golden age of Venezuelan television." For his part, D'Arthenay calls it "a celebration of nostalgia, a chant for 'the forgotten' ... this video is a nod to those days; a time when things were not really much better, but definitely simpler and, for some, safer."