Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Nothing But the Truth
Genres: Jazz, Pop, R&B, Latin Music
Reuben Blades is one of the most successful vocalists in the history of Panamanian music. He has often been referred to as the 'Latin Bruce Springsteen'. Nothing But The Truth is one of his rare English speaking albums and... more »
Reuben Blades is one of the most successful vocalists in the history of Panamanian music. He has often been referred to as the 'Latin Bruce Springsteen'. Nothing But The Truth is one of his rare English speaking albums and features songs written by Elvis Costello, Lou Reed and Sting. It was originally issued on 1988 on Elektra Records and reached # 156 on the Billboard charts. Wounded Bird. 2007.
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Nothing but the best ...
Mark Bradley | West Yorkshire | 02/08/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"First appearing in the late 80s, this album still represents one of the best 'crossover' works ever produced. Apparently not liked by the man behind the music, it features a number of collaborations with the likes of Lou Reed, Elvis Costello and Sting. The colours and images are vivid and the 'translated' Spanish sometimes jars, but gets the points across, often contrasting humour and horror in the same songs.
I'm delighted the record's been re-released - and you should be too, since it brings back to life some of the most meaningful and powerful music we've heard. It's not the Ruben Blades of Pedro Navaja or even the more mellow campaigner of Tiempos, but someone comfortable with a range of styles. Highlights are the opener, The Hit, In Salvador and the joyfully surreal Miranda Syndrome, which I guess few Costello fans will have heard.
It's a pity that Blades isn't more recognised in the UK (where we are), and perhaps another journey into English lyrics might just make that breakthrough. On the strength of Nothing But The Truth, he's capable of reaching the heights.
In Restrospect It's Quite Good
Fred McGhee | Austin, TX | 01/05/2005
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Ruben Blades is on record as not liking this album. I know that he tries to stay ahead of the commercial curve and exerts considerable effort towards staying true to his Panamanian and Latin roots. There were people who thought this project was a sell out.
It wasn't. Overall the things that work on this record far outshine the shortcomings. Although mostly sung in English, this record's idealistically charged political and personal songs work even better now than they did in 1988. "Chameleons" (Cameleones) is a simply terrific song, and yes, the background singers (including James Ingram) sound absolutely terrific on it. "Ollie's Doo-Wop" is a hilarious and rascally terrific send-up of Reagan-era meddling in Latin America. The Lou Reed collaborations are gritty and the Elvis Costello collaborations are lightheartedly serious. Even the reggae-beated political anthem "In Salvador" isn't all THAT bad.....sort of.
I do not think that Ruben lost much street-cred with this project, although I know that could be a minority position. He stretches out on this thing, which is what an artist is supposed to do. There is still something to be said for the production of uncompromised and uncompromising Latin American music sung in English.
I really do hope that some American kid in the U.S. Heartland listens to this music and takes the time to understand what true Pan-Americanism can sound like. There are very few projects of this nature anywhere and far fewer than need or ought be.