Roberto Perera

Harp and Soul

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Praise for Roberto Perera's latest attempt to explore both Harp and Soul must begin and end with accolades for twisting the Eagles' moody "Hotel California" into a Latin, fire breathing fiesta where the jamming guests are having too good a time to check out any time they like. Then he takes a late night powder with a subtle take on Babyface's "Breathe Again." Perera, who plays the gates of St. Peter like a manic acoustic guitarist, spends the rest of the disc either wildly ecstatic (the orchestral tinged hysteria of "Love Dance") or simply breezing through a series of rhythmic romances. While his heritage lends a South American percussion tourism effect, he adds some commercial sheen by going for the everyday North American street vibe on the funky fusion of "Harp Beat." Through all the danceable excitement, Perera mercifully takes a few moments to show us the heart in his harp, most notably on the lilting, lyrical closer, a well-earned, aptly titled "Siesta."

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