Magazine AM:PM
Reviews Cover of Carnal, Buena Fe's new album. Photography: Gabriel Dávalos Cover of Carnal, Buena Fe's new album. Photography: Gabriel Dávalos

Carnal / Good Faith

Like a prejudice opened in the middle is this album, which rises from the flesh with a transversal idea: the universe as a human source to question freedom. A selection of songs whose eclecticism lies in choosing points of view, ideas and sensory evaluations that are compatible, only, combining and mixing them in an appropriate sound dramaturgy such as the one proposed Carnal, Buena Fe's most recent album, where it seems that the band —as the title track suggests— agreed to be a bite out of the jaws of the market.

The phonogram is based on experimentation with sounds that mix percussion and electric strings, 14 pieces with a pluralistic notion where all voices fit, as evidence, for example, the use of synthesizers and the Scandinavian strength of the track catrina.

The track Carnal It is a visceral and very personal dissection to believe even if there are no reasons and plenty of deserters of hope. This is confirmed by the letter: It doesn't matter, let's go again…/ To try to understand what happened/ To be the owner of what will come/ Imposture is a suicide in broad daylight/ There is no way I can't make it personal.

As a common denominator, in all the cuts of the CD there are short verses, just monosyllables or phrases that the group extends in chorus. Phrases like: i'm in love with the night (in Pataki of Freedom), Who I am, title in addition to the eighth track from the album (a typical pop ballad, where Ricardo Arjona's shadow lurks?); you too, not one more and Carnal confirm this choral treatment in the use of voices that distinguishes the album and where, for the first time in the history of the group, they incorporate the voice of a woman in the choirs that, of course, offers another coloratura to the final product.

The album also gives Yoel Martínez the opportunity to corroborate that when he assumes the leading role as a singer —in his case, the vocal solos, with guitar backing and without too much background orchestral sound— it suits him well. On this occasion, it becomes a tailor-made gift for your daughter Mia.

That is also the name of the song composed and performed by Yoel and that serves as a thematic bridge and turning point to tell individual stories written by Israel Rojas. The first four themes of the album revisit social conflicts: racism, the idea of freedom, the individualism that manifests itself as the poison in society, love for Cuba, faith, and the ability of its people to survive. The rest of the musical proposals individualize the stories, always from the artistic sensibility and especially body with which the Cuban present is enjoyed and suffered.

What began as a duo, almost in the year 2000, has mutated into a band that returns to the roots with the piece party blues. It is the vindication, without forgetting, with the Guantanamo land and the East that saw them born. Thus, the group returns to the thematic line of identity of Israel Rojas and Yoel Martínez to later reach the capital through city woman.

On the other hand, in four stories the neighborhood narrative is used as a common thread to sing, making visible the situations sui generis of a community. The proposal is a photograph of the neighborhood culture, the one to which it is necessary to return again and again to understand the national culture.

The claps, meanwhile, are the porch of the theme not one more, a resource that the group also used in the past in titles such as Spyglass, of obvious popularity, and which is also repeated in Music vitalian. The conversations at the beginning of the titles and the environmental dialogues without musical intervention are confirmed again in To mature, another formula explored before in interpretations such as I look and It goes to kill, which belong to  dial, eighth record production of the band.

In short, the group rereads its own work without big surprises. An album where more orchestral, sonorous work is given more preponderance, and… when it seems that the lyrics are going to connect with poetry to think —the aesthetic resource and creation of the group—, the compositions resent the lyric level of fall into a good dose of ease and have little of that sharp and critical depth of the beginnings of the duo.

Listen Carnal here.

Isely Isely Ravelo Rojas My favorite verbs write, read, travel and love. Social communicator, cinephile and journalist in developing countries. I collaborate in the Journal of the International Jazz Plaza Festival, in the Lucas project website and magazine, in the live Qva project and in the news site of the International Press Service (IPS). More posts

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  1. Israel Rojas Fiel says:

    Thank you very much for the album review and criticism. Carnal is precisely the album that intends to look forward aided by what has been learned in 20 years. It is the 10th studio album and we are very happy with the results. Especially from our audience that in just two months already knows and demands those songs live. We don't need to sing old hits. People are asking us for these songs and that tells us that we are still alive. There is criticism and reflection in this material, which may not coincide with what a certain type of public or a certain editorial line would like. It is totally understandable. In the end, time, as always, will have the last word. Health and good things for the journalist and for AM-PM. Go ahead. I think they do, until today, an excellent job.

  2. Tania Capote de León says:

    You are too decent or you make yourself, Israel. This article is as mediocre, contradictory and ugly as the author. Partialized as AM-PM. She, all deaf, thus affirms without any logic or musicological reason that La Catrina has Scandinavian force (laughs), but in Ni una más she cannot hear the obvious reference to the Sancti Spiritus trova, which has claps per-se. Instead, he prefers to denounce that it is a “burnt” resource in Catalejo. The first paragraph is enough to understand that whoever is speaking to us undertook a journey reluctantly, with a prejudice that, instead of confirming it, rather opens up half of it -the record, he liked it, although he didn't want to. At this point I don't know if it's a musical criticism or another snobbish display of AM-PM. Publication that demerits the Silent Scream by Carlos Varela for being repetitive, but ponders Alex Cuba as fabulous, when he has had several albums sounding similar, the shadow of favoritism with the exile? It turns out that Good Faith are also accused of being repetitive. Do AM-PM and Asely Ravelo Rojas not know the difference between design and concept? To them, then, the Van Van must always sound the same, because there are always trombones, mambos and choruses. ?
    I'm not a fan of anyone. I love music. What seems strange to me is that AM-PM reviews the Alvaro Torres concert and not the ¡CINCO! concerts at the Karl Marx in Buena Fe at the end of 2019. And now they show up with this. I don't know. I feel bad. I think AM-PM dreams of being a kind of “El Estornudo”, but musically. And no. I don't buy this other pamphlet with a new mask either.

  3. Hello Israel, thank you very much for approaching the review that we have published in the magazine of your album Carnal, for the lucidity -which I hope was more common- of proactively looking at a text that tries to dialogue with your work, and trying to get something valuable about it. A respectful greeting from the editorial staff of Magazine AM:PM.

  4. Hello Tania. We are very sorry that your disagreement with the review -and incidentally with everything that Magazine AM:PM publishes, it seems- makes you lose an elementary sense of respect for the person of the author, her thinking, and the work of a team of people passionate about music and interested in contributing -from their knowledge and personal discernment- to the ecosystem of Cuban music.
    If we consider something non-negotiable in our writing, it is the right to exercise criteria, with its consequent share of fallibility. Your comment seems to us a perfect example of why we need a space for dialogue for music in our country.

  5. Iván says:

    How sad, Tania, that you begin to disqualify so fiercely and even offensively the work of a group of people just for not matching your criteria. I, for example, do not agree with much of this text and yet I respect it because everyone has the right to freely express their opinion and mine has to be precisely the correct one. What you say about the work of exiles being praised is a totally unfounded argument. Look for reviews of the new albums Real Project or Eme Alfonso or the Trio Words (the latter by the same author as Alex Cuba's) so that you stop seeing ghosts where there aren't any. Intolerance is only a sample of the narrow-mindedness of the intolerant.

  6. Iván says:

    *…and mine doesn't have to be exactly the right one.

  7. Isely Ravelo says:

    Thank you Israel, for the time you spent reading the review and commenting on it with that intelligence that characterizes you. Lots of good health from Buena Fe to you and the group. Affectionate greetings Isely Ravelo Rojas

  8. Tania Capote de León says:

    Greetings colleagues. My name is Tania Capote de León, head of the ACDAM Member Services Department. For the first time I write in this section, although I have read some of your articles and I am surprised to see that they already have a COMMENT under my name.
    I am obliged to clarify that I HAVE NEVER WRITTEN ON THIS SUBJECT IN GOOD FAITH. I have, like all people, my own criteria; but when I am interested in sharing them, I will do it… To the person who hides behind the name of the official of an Institution as prestigious as the ACDAM, in which the equal treatment and defense of all composers prevails, who is COURAGEOUS and uses your identity to comment, it is your RIGHT to give your opinion… just RESPECT ME as sure as I respect you.
    Forgive the MAGAZINE for any inconvenience this individual may have caused on my behalf and the time you have wasted.

  9. Tania Capote de León says:

    Unless, of course, there is a homonym with my data, in which case, despite not agreeing with how you think about the article so magnificently written, I would like to know.
    We are in moments of transparency and respect.

  10. Hi Tania, thank you very much for the clarification. Hopefully unfortunate events like this disappear from our scene and we learn to debate healthily, which is what art and culture all need. Greetings.

  11. Minelis Tamayo Megret says:

    I commented before, but it seems that the comment was not published, that only a couple of days ago I had full access to the album Carnal, the latest installment of Buena Fe, a group that I have followed since its inception and are among my favorites in Cuban music. , only surpassed (for me) by Silvio. I am not a specialist in art or music criticism, therefore my opinion is only that of a follower of his music, the first article that I read on this page. There are always songs that I like more than others, on this album in particular I really like Who am I, Valientes, Not one more. In general it seems fresh to me, with interesting sounds. But criticism is always constructive and appreciated, as Israel itself reflected in its response, intelligent, respectful, subtle. In particular, without taking away the merit of this one, there are other albums that have reached me more, their music always makes me fly, in this one I lacked a bit of height, I feel something simpler, but it's something normal, Silvio himself It happened to him too, there are albums that are deeper than others and that doesn't detract from his work at all, and he still enjoys it and appreciates it.
    Please keep giving us your music while you have soul and verse. Thanks to the author of the article, and thanks above all to Buena Fe, for existing, I feel tremendous pride in belonging to the same village.

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