In Amor Loco, this album contains the first attempt I
know of to fuse Timba with Klezmer. Nobody seems to have pursued the idea, but I guess it was worth a go.
Among several personnel changes since their previous recording, Mi verdad sees Tania Pantoja take lead vocals, supported by Ronnys Lopes Salas. Neither shine particularly although I think Pantoja shows potential. In truth, I don’t think band leader and main songwriter, Lazaro Valdez, gave them enough to work with.
Unsurprisingly, given Valdez’s musical direction, there is some interesting innovation and plenty of funk and Jazz in the arrangements. There’s even a moment that reminds of old school soul. What does surprise is that passages in some songs are so predictable you know what’s coming bars in advance. Even where the arrangements are interesting, they’re not always able to disguise that tumbaos often repeat over two or even a single clave, in overused ways. This tends to dissipate tension. Where these characteristics work best, check Fiebre, penned by Valdes Senior.
A well sung, jazz infused bolero can be a wonderful thing but two sentimental ballads and a duet on one album severely test my slush tolerance. If this is your style, though, hope I haven’t put you off.
Overall, disappointing for me, but Fiebre stands out, as does El Maíz, with it’s echoes of Ya No Hace Falta.