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SpanishEnglishDiscography - 1994-La que manda

cuban music, musica cubana1994 (January) - La Que Manda - This is a subtle and beautiful CD that's frequently overlooked due to its position between the towering accomplishments of "Échale Limón" and "La Bruja". It has no tracks to compete with "Santa Palabra" or "Picadillo de Soya", but the 10 songs, all by Tosco, maintain a warm and funky mood that continues to grow on the listener, not unlike some of Los Van Van's more laid back work from this period. On this album, NG has its multiple split personalities in check. There are no Jazz numbers and no experimental cross-over journeys into other world pop genres. The singing, by Calá and Mena, is masterful and soulful throughout and Tosco's lead vocal, on "Con Qué Tú Cuentas" is one of his best, with no horsing around and no major lapses in intonation or attempts to overextend his range. As with many Timba albums, the cuerpos themselves can seem deceptively mellow or traditional, and it's necessary to listen to the whole track to get to get to the Timba energy. The 9-page booklet is the only one we've ever found which contains ALL of the lyrics, including the guías and spoken interjections, a windfall for the Spanish student or the hispanohablante trying to master the Cuban dialect. For immediate gratification we recommend starting with the last three tracks. "Hice Mi Papel", the most immediately catchy tune on the CD, is an early example of the Timba/R&B groove that Manolín and his Chamacos would take to the bank in the years that followed. Also great are "Cara de Guante" and "Pelota", the album's biggest hit in Cuba.

Sunday, 27 July 2014, 02:30 AM