Take a healthy slice of Reggaeton, a touch of cumbia, some lush Latin licks, a modern reggae upgrade, island vibes and infectious dance grooves and you have a fair description of what has gone into this album. But, as always, it isn’t just a matter of just collecting the musical ingredients, it is knowing how to blend them into a sumptuous and satisfying sonic dish. Fear not, Suena Los Cielos, is one of the most filling musical meals you will have had in ages.
And again, as is the way with music which is sung in a language other than my own limited literary scope, the vocal delivery acts more like an instrument in its own right that a lyrical communication. But the vocals are expressive and confident, they dance deftly along the top of the music and so even without understanding the lyrical message, I am able to fathom the emotional one.
Mandilon kicks things off, an infectious groove pushing deft and dexterous lyrics of a man under the thumb of his wife but right from the off, it invites the listener to move, to tap a foot, shake a leg, groove and grind, move and manoeuvre, setting apace for what is to follow. There are more gentle moments such as the understated and balladic Quimica, an imploring vocal, sparing piano lines and a slow and sultry beat all working in unison. Similarly, Bebo Mi Licor opts for the less is more policy.
But the album comes into its own when it is evoking dance moves, inspiring fun and instigating a party such as tracks like Ta Suave (and just wait for the spoken word/cultural reference sample.)
It’s an album which covers a lot of ground, a lot of emotions and a lot of occasions. From subtle ballads to supple dancefloor classics in the making, it is an album with a lot to offer.