Carlos Vives captures the spirit and the beauty of Colombian
D. Pawl | Seattle | 08/30/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"LA TIERRA DEL OLVIDO is officially the first Carlos Vives album I have ever purchased. In all honesty, I don't know why I waited so long. I have always enjoyed the beautiful vallenatos of Colombia (upbeat numbers featuring traditional instruments, as well as accordion accompaniment), as well as other genres that have roots in that country. Vives was originally a soap opera (or novela) actor in his country, and then began to bridge the gap between cultures and musical genres through his distinctive and artistic style. His vocals are upbeat, bright and energetic, and he has a wonderful band, that only enhances his sound.
This album features great vallenatos like "Pa' Mayte'" (incidentally, this was a song I had searched for for months and couldn't for the life of me think of the title! It must have been fate that this was the first cut on the CD!), "Fidelina," and "Rosa." The lyrics are rich with double entendre and allude simultaneously to the beauty of the nature, as well as the beauty of women. There is a certain elegant quality whenever Vives delivers the words and vocals. This is an elegance missing from much of the contemporary pop music being forcefed to the masses. Particularly, I have had trouble stomaching the "rock en espanol" and "Latin pop" route that Spanish language music has taken (with the exception of Juanes, another wonderful artist from Colombia, who is just incomparable). Though, some have pegged Vives as part of the "Latin explosion" tribe, I beg to differ. This man's music is no fad. He truly wishes to transcend language and cultural barriers to bring the music of his people to the masses. After hearing LA TIERRA DEL OLVIDO, I can't wait to hear more of his later albums, just to savor the beauty of the syncopation, orchestration and composition of La Musica Colombiana. Que viva la raza!"