It is almost impossible to get a Mana CD in the UK and I was waiting for it with great anticipation, having only previously heard MANA with Hechicera on MP3. What an opener! Tremendous. (One for the car). The whole album gels together Funk, Latin grooves (percussive, rhythmic and pulsating), both driving and melodic Rock, even a touch of Reggae and softer ballads as well, and the language is no barrier at all ! The recording and production are also of top quality - there is an immidiacy - a presence in the room even on a modest system which harks back in a way to the (dare I say it) vinyl of the '70's rather the modern trend of too much compression which can at times make even the pepiest tracks sound rather flat (in my opinion). This is certainly not the case here - It is wonderfully open. 'Wicked' is really the only term I can use.(Thanks Ramiro). So - Brilliant! If you like Latin type music in any way shape or form, you will like if not love this album. If you're not tapping your feet or singing a chorus (in Spanish) - you've got no 'soul'. Buy it. You'll love it.
Mana are perhaps the biggest Mexican "rock" group today, having been around for over 10 years and been recipients of an"unplugged" session on MTV. Their style is a mixture of '80's rock, salsa, reggae, with a vocalist who sings a bit like Sting (in Spanish, naturally), a fantastic guitarist, solid bass player and a drummer who can play anything. This is perhaps their most consistent album to date. The songs are all strong, ranging from ballads to atmospheric numbers, a couple of mid-tempo rockers, a funky salsa number (Tu Tienes lo Que Quiero), and Clavado En Un Bar, which has a bit of everything, including the coolest guitar solo...mmmm!!! If you like Santana, you'll LOVE this!
"Sueños Líquídos" (Liquid Dreams) is an absolute genius of an album. A sound that is not too manufactured; a sound where nothing is too extreme or OTT; a sound which is abundantly refreshing. This is Spanish Rock music at its best! The first track 'Hechicera' begins in a very surreal and psychedelic fashion. When the song gets going, it has a jazzy/reggae feel to it, then in come this lovely Spanish guitar riff to break up the verses. The song is somewhat haunting, but is a very good opener. In fact you'll probably find it hard to resist pressing the repeat button a few times. The second track (Un lobo por tú amor), starts quite dancey, and has quite a Spanish Vs Counting Crows feel to it. The sound has quite an astonishing similarity to "The Police" and I suppose the lead singer does have quite a similar voice to Sting, but only better. "Chamán" is definitely one to remember on this album, so exquisite, again haunting, but a great listen. This is a song which grew on me immediately, and the chorus is one that will surely have you singing along! (The CD has the lyrics entailed on the sleeve, so you'll have no problem being a non-Spanish speaker!) The best song of all, on the album has to be 'Clavado en un bar', (Wrecked in a bar) words cannot describe how cool this track is! I think it's a song which, puts all the sounds of Maná together, summoning them up in 5 minutes! It's a great rock song, and would have your head banging straight away, especially when the van halen solo kicks in. Maná was introduced to me from talking to a Mexican girl, who explained to me that Maná was the best Latin Rock band, she wasn't wrong. The only reason this band has not made it big in England is again due to the disappointing language factor. Maybe this album will encourage you to take up a second language, if not, it will surely inspire you in some other way. ¡Estupendo!