It's good to hear the mans voice again, Get Rhythm was a long time ago. He's used some of the same people from as far back as "Showtime" and that unique sound of slow beats, accordian, grinding, bouncing bass and Ry's guitar sends shivers down my spine... I'd liked to have heard more of Ry as he does have a perfect voice for this sort of thing and his guitar is a little shy here and there, but this album bobs along nicely. I tend to end up playing it three or four times in a row and it gets better and better. I like the fact that all the tracks mean something quite real and they can all be related to something that did happen.
But don't let that put you off, on the other hand do not expect many tracks featuring Ry's distinctive vocals as he hands the responsibility on most songs to battle hardened latins with grit in their hearts..in fact I think I am right in saying he does not appear at all on one track. Nevertheless we have a superb album of latin, folk,dance , protest songs and slightly warped sci-fi.A strange mix? perhaps but superb music.Enjoy.
If you're expecting Buena Vista Social Club Vol 2, this aint it. Whereas BVSC re-created a time and a place, this goes a step further, telling a story as it unfolds. Yes there's the latin music featuring musicians from the era in question, but it is much more varied andd eclectic than BVSC and, to my mind, more interesting for it.
....it's going to be. That is ....it isn't Buena Vista Social Club, it isn't Ibrahim Ferrer, it isn't Ali Farka Toure, it isn't Flaco Jimenez. But then again it's all of these and more. In particular it's more of Ry and in a bigger sense its more altogether. A commanding view with all Ry Cooder's talents of bringing together disparate elements into a musical whole. Every play pays off and the record gets better and better with each hearing. In some ways it reminds me of early spring backs to folk melodies on "Into the Purple Valley" but with everything that he has done since coming together over a long and fruitful career and adding to the disc. Quite possibly the best thing that he has out together for a long time and worth persisting with
One of the finest albums I've heard. I've loved Ry Cooder's music since I first listened to Buena Vista Social Club all those years ago. His work stays with you, like a best friend. LA exhibits the same dynamics qualities as so many other great cities and, but for the mountains, who knows where its limits would end now? Thanks to Ry and his really excellent friends, the old LA shines through. This is an album to savour - each song brings something new and I love the blend of Spanish-English. Stand out tracks (for me) are the two closing songs where he brings the listener back to the present day - 3rd Base Dodger Stadium and Soy Luz y Sombra.
This exquisite combination of Ry's recent efforts, with all those wonderful Cuban musicians, and the great days of 'Bop til you Drop', etc has been well worth the wait. The musicianship on this magnificent album makes so much modern music look and sound as mediocre as it undoubtably is. Sheer unadulterated and consumate genius from THE man.