Yo Soy La Noticia is an album more notable for the
transition it marks than for the music it contains. In this, it is representative of the decade and of many subsequent bands, but the shift here is abrupt.
There are traces of it’s splendid predecessor, Yo Tengo El Don, particularly in the first few tracks. These, for me, make the album worthwhile. However, if that album was a rough diamond, in this one much of the genius and authenticity has simply been cut away. What stands out is regression towards the conservative musical forms of traditional Salsa. Through much of the album there is little fire in the brass or percussion. Mejor Que Antes includes chord progressions that remind me of several ’60’s soul tracks, unusual in a Cuban recording, but generally song structures are wearily familiar, as are the chord progressions and tonal harmonies. The Timba “style” of the keyboard particularly, in which this is delivered, is no disguise.
Michel Maza joined the front line for La Rebambaramba’s second recording. He still had a swagger, but not that of “El Menor,” the cocky, boundary pushing youth. More, perhaps, of someone trading on but overshadowed by their own past.