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Reviews Fragment of the cover of the album Let them speak, by Laritza Bacallao. Fragment of the cover of the album Let them speak, by Laritza Bacallao.

Let them speak / Laritza Bacallao

Fresco is still the most recent album by Laritza Bacallao, an artist who resumes music production after a seven-year absence. After an extensive season of national and foreign tours (United States, Mexico, Europe, Bahamas, among others) the popular singer is back on her island, eager for her homeland and song. His fans have received the return protected by the pleasant memory of the initiatory You only live once (Planet Records, 2014). And it is precisely let them talk (Puntilla Music, 2021) arrives full of expectations that were forged in the creative extension of the singer.

After participating as a child in the phonogram The Aragón Orchestra presents La Princesita del Cha Cha Cha (Comercializadora Artesafono, Venezuela, 1997), Laritza starred —almost two decades later— in a full recording debut, full of radio hits. The topic You only live oncenext to the sparkling Carnavalas well as the summer let the drums sound and the joyous break of you missed the plane, became common in popular humming. Thus, with this sound pedigree of support and guarantee, let them talk wait today for its download on the main music platforms.

The LP brings together 12 pieces where the singer dispenses with guest artists. The greatest novelty with respect to his previous work is, perhaps, his foray into Anglophone interpretations. The classic All By Myself, by Eric Carmen, becomes a melodic outburst under the well-pitched voice of Laritza, accustomed to sustaining verses with a very high tessitura. Likewise, run to you, by Jud Friedman and Allan Rich and performed by Whitney Houston, displays with the Bacallao a tropical rhythmic base, sauced saxophone, which connects with the best of Afro-Cuban jazz, while complementing, with the acoustic, the piano innocence of the original theme.

That man, by the prolific Manuel Alejandro, popularized by Rocío Jurado, completes the triad of “tributes”, sound exhumations that clothe the album with tradition. This ode to spite, a theme appreciated by Latin listeners, ends here with typical salsa choirs, an invitation to gloating in the dance. Returning to that vital celebration that portrays her, Laritza concentrates on it would be perfect all his enthusiasm as a performer. A festive breath runs through the theme, transits its chords, motivating the cadence (the disorder, in my case) of the legs, eager for hustle and bustle.

It's over, it's over, for its part, opens with a guitar solo that makes a flamenco nod to the piece, thus favoring the mixture of genres, a hallmark of this phonogram. Likewise, the song has an “acoustic” version on the album itself, much more sober in the use of instruments and synthesizers. This alternative, despite renewing the theme's musical style, undermines originality, an element that also suffers if we take into account the covers mentioned above. In this aspect, the Bacallao does not pay the price of its absence: after seven years it only offers us eight totally new tracks.

Inside the plate, popular dance music converges with urban sound, giving rise to a stylistic symbiosis that many have agreed to call “timbatón”. The generic coalition, an alliance between timba, pop and salsa, with preeminence for reggaeton, takes place in Speaking clear, where the accelerated electronic rhythm prevails. The lyrics suggest an adulterous encounter, the consummation of infidelity, a very frequent theme in urban music, in the sound of the street.

Laritza Bacallao is a daring, audacious artist, she seems to carry audacity as her motto. We know that popular dance music —beyond fusions, mixtures and ramifications— is established as a relatively adverse context for women, dominated almost entirely by men. In a medium with these distinctions, the singer has been able to decipher the key to popular idolatry, achieving the acclaim of purists and liberals, confused in elucidating the "scientific" limits of salsa. This, precisely, will be the genre defended in the homonymous theme of the album.

let them talk starts camouflaged in a background of reggaeton condition, repetitive in its rhythmic key, to later surprise with the incursion of trumpets and percussion. Favored by the stridency of her voice, the singer censures the hypocrites and mocks the envious, constantly gossiping about the good of others. Having clarified his position, he is accompanied by a choir that duplicates his verses, freeing himself from the latent tie under rumor and doubt.

Laritza Bacallao has her audience, she has made her own audience. This work may not reach the popularity of You only live once (comparisons seem inevitable when you've only produced a couple of albums), as the 2014 album seems to surpass this one, especially in variety and originality. To the general approval, she has declared on her social networks the preparation of a new material, news that predicts an upcoming return, much less delayed than the first. While this is happening, we will be aware of the phonogram and its reception, waiting for a suitable context for dancing and partying, attributes that are always present when it comes to Laritza.

Listen what do they talk here.

Senen Alonso Senen Alonso Alum Philologist by profession; dissatisfied by vocation. Literary researcher, incomplete cartoonist (my strokes amaze) and (perennial) aspiring writer, as Aunt Julia taught me. I keep trying to tune my musical ear. More posts

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