Los Fabulosos Cadillacs
Latin music hasn't exactly been at it's best lately. Too many pop singles and not enough real music. Incredibly popular south of the border, this Argentinean band really deserves their fame. They have an invigorating mix of salsa and Latin rhythms combined with ska, roots reggae, dub and rock and roll. It is a wonderful and energetic mix. They even borrow from 50's rock and a lot of Beatles, giving them a great retro feel in their earlier years. Nowadays they have become a much more upbeat ska inspired band, but their entire musical history has merit.
20 Grandes Exitos is a compilation of some of their singles since 1987 though 1998. The album covers varied musical styles. From 50's rock in "Yo No Me Sentaria En Tu Mesa" into the salsaified "Conversacion Nocturna" to the upbeat ska and grunge inspired sound of "Caballo de Madera" or the reggae beat of "Radio Kriminal". I have to hand it to these guys for continuing experimenting and exploring new musical combinations. In their recent years they have definitely developed a vibe very unique to them. "Manuel Santillan, El Leon" and "El Matador" seem to exemplify this acoustic combination.
This album has some nice little touches to it. There are a couple of live tracks for starters. Not to mention a couple of remixes and an amusing cover of the Beatles classic "Strawberry Fields For Ever". It's a laugh to hear that track. I don't think the Beatles envisioned every band in South America having a cover of their song, and definitely not in spanglish with a ska rhythm.
Another great thing about this disc is that its sound quality is quite high. Even though there aren't large dynamic dips and peaks in the recording, the natural attack and decay of the instruments seems to have been preserved, and there is a relatively quiet background. The soundscape is in pretty good shape also, not very wide, but there feels like there's a more natural distance between you and the band. The only thing against it is that it might be a little too distant and recessed on some systems.
20 Grandes Exitos is a perfect introduction to one of the best South American bands around. Los Fabulosos Cadillacs take rock to a new level that is well worth exploring. Put on some comfortable pants and get ready to move those hips, you are going to love these guys.
Sound Quality: 75