Manolito

Locos por Mi Habana

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    8
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AllMusic Review by

Manolito Simonet y Su Trabuco deliver a brand of timba that packs all the edgy punch necessary, but with a loose, fat, funky energy reminiscent of "New York Sound" era salsa. Timba can sometimes have a synthed-out, overly processed, compressed and arranged edge that can make it difficult to listen to. The high energy is what makes timba so enticing, and ironically, it is exactly that energy that can choke the music, like how too much caffeine can just leave a person twitchy and wrung out instead of energetic. Manolito Simonet and his veteran timba group have the cure for this problem. The instrumentation has an open, warm tone. The percussion and horn sections are tight while still sounding breathable and fun. The songwriting is contemporary, exuberant and sunny. Simonet himself must have exquisite taste, because the entire band has stricken an amazing balance between restraint and the wild-man freedom that makes timba so infectious. The group's 2005 release for the Egrem label, Locos por Mi Habana has a swinging confidence similar to early Los Van Van that is absolutely irresistible. This is a great disc for timba-wary salsa lovers.

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