¡más fresca que nunca!
¡más fresca que nunca!
Now that I've had Revé's latest in the ipod for a couple of weeks - and played it pretty much constantly whenever I have left the house - I feel better equipped to talk a bit more about it.
I'm still going with A sancochar boniato as the stand-out (click on the box at right to hear it).
One of Revé's great tricks (and in fact, it's kind of sello of a lot of Cuban music), is the ability to go from woeful to woohoo! in seconds - or rather, to combine the two: A sancochar boniato (it means "to parboil sweet potato"; but I suspect it also means "let's party") has wonderfully lachrymose violins married to the invigorating changüi rhythm and overlaid with lyrics about a fiesta. The music is outstanding, but the lyrics are terrific fun too - non-Latin music has plenty of lyrics about partying - there must be a million songs with "Saturday night" in the title, but they rarely go into as much detail as this:
El 31 de diciembre (The 31st of December)
Me invitaron a una fiesta (I was invited to a party)
La cena del fin de año (A new year's eve dinner)
En casa de los Revé (At the Revés' house)
After giving time, location and the reason for the party, the singer tells us there was barbecued pork, sweet potato, bacalao (a kind of fish) and bread. Everyone had a swell time, changüisando (jaja) but there was trouble when the singer got home:
Cuando yo llegué a mi casa (When I got home)
Mi mujer estaba brava (My wife was mad)
Venía pidiendo comida (She came asking for food)
Y ya no quedaba nada (But none remained)
Y no quedó nadita (And nothing at all was left)
Ni una cachitico pa' huele (Not even a skerrick to smell)
This is too much fun.
The other songs on the album I have been thrashing are El jonrón, which I mentioned in the previous post, but also, Fresquecito.com - a terrific uptempo number with a lovely melody. Again, it has that melancholy vibe - at the beginning, at least - then it turns into a furious grindfest. Probably my second favourite on the album. Here they are doing it live, shot by Michelle from timba.com
The version of Ya no te doy más na' on the album is something of a disappointment. A demo of this song, featuring its composer El Nene in a brilliant vocal performance, had been around for some time. When El Nene left (he is now apparently fronting his own band in Cuba called El Nene y su Crazy Band), Elito got new vocalist Eric "El Chino" to rerecord it. It's a great song - it has a terrific melody in the verses - but I miss El Nene's spunky delivery and the fantastic scat that he stuck in the middle of it. Still this version is pretty good.
El Nene also wrote La Madrugada - another good song. This album is full of them. Probably easier to name the songs I don't like: top of the list is No le pegues con el pie. It's one of those tropical fusion rhythms and it's a bit too jaunty and provincial for me. I'm not a huge fan of very traditional music either, so Vamos a bailar el changüi isn't among my favourites, though it's far from being as annoying as the previous song. El martes, a Los Van Van song, is a pretty, elegant cha-cha-cha. Back in the música bailable category are: La viuda, El télefono and El dinero. These are all very solid songs, and most will probably get a work out at the Cuba night (December 28).
Fresquecito is a very, very, good album - I like it more than their last, Se sigue comentando. And that was pretty good, too.
As well as new Revé jnr, I've been dipping into some old stuff by his papa, in particular Aqui todo se resuelve from the album Suave Suave, a gorgeous smoothly flowing dance track; and also Manye pa' catalina, that goes back even further and has spine-tingling chord changes.
¡Viva los Revés!
Descarga links: Fresquecito; Suave Suave; [can't find a link for Manye pa Catalina - will upload it to the player when I get my shit together]