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SpanishEnglishSe Sufre Pero Se Goza - (EGREM) Released 2013.11.09

CD Review: Se Sufre Pero Se Goza by David Calzado & Su Charanga Habanera
 (EGREM 2013)

Review by Bill Tilford, all rights reserved

Charanga Habanera returns with a high-energy Timba album that may have been receiving excessive public attention to the imagery of the album packaging and the live act at the expense of the music, which carries the energy of Timba's early years at a time when so some bands sound as if they are tired.   (Incidentally, there is a 1986 Mexican sex comedy with the same title.) There are elements of R & B in the opening track and Charangamanía, and traces of Reggaeton in La Casa (but only traces) in what is, in the end, a valid Timba track. 
The closing track, Vas a Sufrir, is a conga, but this is otherwise a wall-to-wall Timba recording that should, in theory, please the first generation of CH fans that never stops talking about the 1990s.   Since we don't have a time machine, this is probably as close to that vibe as we are likely to come in this decade.   As to the imagery, this writer is old enough to have been listening to Los Van Van in the 1970s, and he had an epiphany after watching a live Klimax concert in Havana last month.  We can't expect the front line singers of today to be exactly like the front line singers of decades ago, and we need to take this music on its own terms.  We should also remember that Charanga Habanera took some criticism in the 1990s as well, so perhaps there is an element of deju vu there after all. 
If nothing else, CH deserves recognition for making this recording at a time when so much conventional wisdom in the marketplace claims that this style of Timba is too fast for today's dancers.  Timberos, it is up to you to prove or disprove that claim.  This writer enjoys the recording.   

Charanga Habanera's website is

1. Señoras y Señores
2. El Castigo
3. Noche De Pirata
4. Se Sufre Pero Se Goza
5. Charangamanía
6. La Casa
7. Llora, Llora
8. Cartera Sin Dinero
9. Cazadora De Talentos
10. Partiendo La Tarima
11. Vas a Sufrir

Bill Tilford - Saturday, 11 January 2014, 08:49 PM