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De Vuelta Al Barrio – El Niño y La Verdad

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The man from TimbaMerchant, definitely he say “YES.”

One of the stronger and most consistent releases in a year that has seen a promising upturn in quality. Really, this is a bit special. The compositions are fairly simple in structure but not uninteresting. They’re arranged with a swing that builds and makes you want to get up off of your ass and dance. This, in spite of their tendency towards a daunting pace. Speaking personally, it’s amazing how you can sometimes shift when the music inspires.
The percussion and bass underpinning everything else is tasty and tight, the bloques add punch when needed. Brass is dynamic and refreshingly un-cliched, as it should be but so often isn’t. Coros swing, as does the croaky delivery of El Niño, (The Baby), so called on account of the tender age at which he began singing with El Charangón de Revé. His over use of of vocal signatures is a small criticism and something I suspect the dance community won’t even notice.
There’s some diversity in the repertoire. A rare Cha Cha Cha makes an appearance and El Primo opens with a Pilón feel which it discards for the last couple of minutes. Mostly though, this is quality timberised Salsa, with a long shelf life.
It opens with an intro of street chatter and improvised singing/percussion which flows into the orchestra as it takes up the tune. Lifting the street to the stage is what Cuban music always was, and this album is, about. For me, Las Manzanas is easily the pick of this quality bunch. Melodically one of the most interesting, it’s very punchy but with a melancholic edge I can never resist. This currently stands a close second to Adalberto Álvarez’s Los Buenos y Los Malos as my track of the year. Que Clase De Cara takes the pace down a touch and its largo would probably not offend a Salsa Romántica fan. On the cusp of a montuno for more than a minute, the coro finally joins in after just under two minutes. Several songs take a while to build and this is an example. By the last section the bass and percussion are kicking it under some tasty horn jabs and a solid tumbao. Another great track.
El Nombrecito goes straight for the throat but still manages to build over its course. No prisoners! The bass and percussion could be a construed as a six minutes of abuse or a massage, depending on your perception. Reflexion, La Princesa De Cayo Hueso, and Tírame La Foto are more tracks that more than hold my attention. The best, in my view, of their three releases to date over five years. Highly recommended.
© 2018 TimbaMerchant

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© 2018 EGREM

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El Niño y La Verdad

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01 *Intro*

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02 *La Princesa De Cayo Hueso*

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03 *El Primo*

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04 **Las Manzanas**

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05 *Tírame La Foto*

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06 La Cosa Mala

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07 *Cha Pa’ Mi Muchacha*

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08 Para Ser Cantante

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09 **Que Clase Cara**

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10 *Reflexión*

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11 *El Nombrecito*

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