All three of Manolín’s ‘90’s albums are classics and chart the development of Timba through
the decade. If for any reason you have to choose, De Buena Fe is, in the Matrix sense, the ONE. Never to be repeated or even approximated, this is one of the Holy Grails of Timba and another of the “wave of ’97.” De Buena Fe is timeless.
Don’t let the Star Wars opener disconcert you. Bear with it, it does go somewhere and you’re probably in for a treat. There are so many classics here, the occasional drab song is bearable. This digital edition is one short of the original, but you’ll probably miss nothing. The long version of Que Le Llegue Mi Mano has been cut, which means there’s one less song to interrupt your dancing. See how see how we look after you?
What remains are mostly anthems, but not for their recycling tacky, “uplifting” chord sequences we can wave our hands in the air to, in unison. Manolín, Luis Bú Pascual and Jean Valdés went overboard arranging this collection between them. What they produced is something of enduring, groundbreaking originality. If No Lo Comentes, Romeo Y Julieta, Pegaíto, Pegaíto and El Que Esté Que Tumbe are the stuff of legend, there is still more to this album. These songs represented the lives and hopes of a generation of urban Cubans in the late 1990’s. They inspired no small number of the musically adventurous overseas, as well. This sounds as fresh today as it did 20 years ago.
The recording is a bit toppy without EQ. The bass needs only a little encouragement, though, for the frequent off beat bloques and bass to massage you in a most delicious way. They really don’t make ‘em like this anymore. Hear for yourself.