Thursday, February 12th, 2015

Victor Manuelle – Que Suenen Los Tambores

Some hit Puerto Rican salsa to finish the day…


Josh Langhoff: Incorporating the traditional “Sister Havana” chord changes, the latest tropical (and sort of topical) #1 from Bronx native Manuelle is a cover of Cuban singer Laritza Bacallao. Manuelle’s version seems to accelerate as it rolls along, bulging with more cool electro-salsa effects and backup vocal parts the further it goes. Something new crops up every moment; listening to it may be as exhilarating and exhausting as dancing. Yet Manuelle counsels patient resistance and claims in the first verse, “No se trata de velocidad.” Hurry up and relax. There’s no time to lose; we could have a holiday.

Madeleine Lee: The official version unrolls at a moderate pace what the “world version” compresses into three-fourths the runtime. I prefer the latter’s breakneck energy, not having enough knowledge of salsa’s nuances to appreciate anything deeper than whether it makes me want to dance around my kitchen. But I like the moments where Manuelle digs into the horns on the slower version — it’s more effective to stand and proclaim when the ground isn’t rushing underneath you — and how regardless of beats per minute, this song just keeps building bigger and bigger.

Alfred Soto: The son master has been at this for a while, and while I haven’t found his amiable, chipper delivery fascinating on its own he still sings like he feels those drums under his feet and his soul.

Patrick St. Michel: It sounds relentlessly upbeat, never really taking a breather and almost sounding exhausting. But it sticks so steadfastly to what it does that it goes from tiring to enjoyable by the end of the song.

Ian Mathers: Am I overvaluing this because it’s delightful and I don’t really know much about the genre and other context it comes from? Possibly. But unless it turns out the lyrics are about something entirely different than the performance and the video make it seem like they are (by which I mean, I reserve the right to change my score if this is secretly about kicking puppies or something), why second guess that delight? If anything, this reminds me of Sakanaction’s “Music” just in the way that it seems to cram in entirely too many little mini-chorus sections for one song, each more fun than the last. But it has none of melancholy of “Music,” at least sonically.

Brad Shoup: This is the drive-time version — I can tap some fingers to this, but it won’t be healing my rancor. I prefer the one with the slower tempo, wherein each section of the orchestra makes an eloquent case for primacy.

Katherine St Asaph: A marathon run with the energy of a sprint; whether that’s exhilarating or quick-tiring probably depends on your energy, or the weather outside.

Reader average: [6] (2 votes)

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