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Bio Ritmo – ‘La Verdad’ CD Review

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Photo Courtesy Electric Cowbell Records

Bio Ritmo - 'La Verdad'

Photo Courtesy Electric Cowbell Records

La Verdad is the newly released album by the Salsa band Bio Ritmo. This group was born in Richmond, Virginia, and has been around for twenty years shaping a new kind of Salsa defined by a very experimental sound. The new album contains nine tracks including one the best Salsa songs I have come across this year: "La Verdad". The following are my impressions on the latest album by one of the most innovative Salsa bands in the market.

Bio Ritmo’s Background

In order to fully appreciate this album, it is important to understand a little bit the background of this band. First of all, Bio Ritmo is not your classic Salsa band but rather a group of talented artists whose musical influences have shaped a very innovative Salsa sound for the past twenty years.

Thanks to the musical diversity of its members, Bio Ritmo is constantly looking to produce something new. In other words, this is a band that is never repetitive. Even though the band is mainly focused on Salsa music, especially hard Salsa, the kind of sound Bio Ritmo produces has been dubbed Post Salsa. Band members include a collage of rastas, punks, rockers and Jazz musicians.

La Verdad

Although the album fits very well the band's experimental Salsa style, the hit song "La Verdad," which gives the name to this CD, is an authentic piece of pure good Salsa. If you are into hard Salsa, you are going to love "La Verdad". This track has it all: Excellent brass sections, amazing percussion and nice vocals.

In spite of being a straightforward Salsa song, "La Verdad" also leaves some room for interesting musical innovation that includes a funky keyboard sound leading the whole melody and a Brazilian touch that includes some cuica playing in the middle of the track.

Besides "La Verdad," the album also features other hard Salsa songs including "La Muralla," "Verguenza" and "Lola's Dilemma". Out of these three songs, I particularly like "Lola's Dilemma," a track offering a very nice Son Montuno melody that takes you back to the time when Salsa was a serious business.

Experimental Sounds

La Verdad includes various experimental songs. There are a couple of instrumental tracks that are quite interesting. One of them is "Dina's Mambo," a song that offers a very particular sound thanks to a mix of Funk and Jazz with a sort of Spanish flavor. The other one is "Caravana Del Vejigante," a very Latin Jazz track that reminds me of some of the Latin Jazz songs the famous pianist Papo Lucca used to add to the albums of La Sonora Poncena.

The album's experimental side also contains the tracks "Carnaval" and "Majadero". The former is probably the most experimental song in the whole album. In fact, apart from saying that "Carnaval" is marked by a high tempo groovy beat, trying to define this song is basically impossible. In terms of innovative sounds, this is as good as it gets in La Verdad.

‘La Verdad’ – Bottom Line

The best thing of La Verdad is that this album offers something different. I am a big fan of innovation and this CD has that. The single "La Verdad" is a killer song and I would probably buy this album just to have that track. Sometimes though, having a killer track in one album may affect the other ones, and this is probably the case here. In any case, this is an enjoyable album to listen to.

'La Verdad' - Best Tracks

  • "La Verdad"
  • "Dina's Mambo"
  • "Carnaval"
  • "Lola's Dilemma"

Record Label: Electric Cowbell Records
Release Date: September, 2011

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