Rubén Blades y Son del Solar

Amor y Control

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Rubén Blades' 1992 release Amor y Control may feature more variety, more stylistic diversity than any other before or after. Considering that Blades has made a career out of musical globetrotting, that's quite a statement. However, with virtually every track choosing a different Latin American or Caribbean nation as it's home, it's quite justified. From merengue to samba to West Indies funk to the salsa that made him famous, Blades never seems to find home, he's as full of wanderlust as the ships that grace the album's cover. Often times when a musician attempts such an epic project, instead of playing one style well, all come out mediocre. Not the case with Blades and his band Son de Solar, which is made up of players so sensitive, adaptable and expert, one would think that each idiomatic style was their specialty. Highlights are numerous, including "West Indian Man," a tribute to the backbone of the workforce who built the canal in Blades' native Panama, staying true to his commitment to social and political commentary. The title track's melodically unforgettable hook proves once again that Blades is among salsa's most innovative, tuneful songwriters. Though many of the tracks from Amor y Control can be found on collections, there's a depth and beauty to the work that can only be appreciated as a whole. This disc is worth owning.

Track Listing

Title/Composer Performer Time
1 5:26
2 3:28
3 4:48
4 2:30
5 4:31
6 4:31
7 5:52
8 2:50
9 6:23
10 3:33
11 4:38
12 6:11
blue highlight denotes track pick