Love is Like a Crystal – David Muñoz (reviewed by Dave Franklin)

It’s very easy, especially if based, as I am, in the UK, to forget that the world is a big place, one filled with all manner of culture, cross-pollination and creativity. With the dominance of British and UK music in the modern age, we get so used to certain sounds and styles being the building blocks of popular music, which is why songs like Love is Like a Crystal, the latest release from David Muñoz, are so important.

As its Latin grooves and sassy, sunshine sonics, its sultry rhythms and seductive style washes over you, it transports you away from the drab, four-four conformity of mainstream western pop, though this is certainly as addictive and adventurous as any pop can hope to be. It takes you to a place of sun-drenched shores and blue skies, where Mediterranian vibes dance with Brazillian rhythms, a place where dance is not merely a music genre but a vibrant and essential part of life itself.

There is no point in trying to use the latest indie style or pop pick as a yardstick with which to compare and measure this song, it belongs in a different world. Actually, scratch that, it is of this world but seems to be part of a patchwork of sounds, a suite of music that better describes the world than any pop pretender or dance diva could ever do. Hence the term world music, I guess.

And people get the idea of what world music actually is, totally wrong. Listen to Love Is Like a Crystal and you quickly realise that whilst being part of an identifiable cultural sound it also has the infectiousness of pop music, the authenticity of folk music and the vibrancy of dance. It is bigger than one scene or style. Perhaps everything, all good music at least, is world music after all.

But what raises it up above the usual sonic fare that those genres produce is its blend of ornateness and delicacy. Drums beat out gorgeously vibrant rhythms, Spanish guitars caress and cascade, call and response vocals make the narrative even more compelling and bass lines pop and pulse. And, as busy and bustling as the song might appear to be, there is a deftness and order to the way that everything shimmies and sashays around each other.

The result is a song with many facets and numerous instruments contributing to its incricate weave of sound but so well arranged that everyone has a part to play, everyone gets to shine and no one steps on each other’s musical toes.

Not only a great song but a wonderful reminder that the world is a big place filled with all manner of cultures and creativity, sounds and styles. It would be a shame if you didn’t explore them, embrace them, dare I say, fall in love with them.

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