Nil Lara

Nil Lara

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Nil Lara accomplishes an innovative lyricism rooted in traditional, Latin rhythms in this self-titled follow-up to his debut album My First Child. His Cuban heritage serving as catalyst, Lara weaves English and Spanish lyrics to communicate universal themes. From the first song, "Money Makes the Monkey Dance," which reflects upon the struggles and suffering of selling out, to the celebratory last, "Mama's Chant," the track titles consistently allude to the passion embedded in the melodies and words. The album's highlights -- "Baby," "Fighting for My Love," and "Vida Mas Simple" -- each distinctly explore love and liberation. Lara's incorporation of the Cuban three-toned tres guitar, the cuatro (a small, Venezuelan four-stringed instrument), the electric guitar, and various percussion instruments -- congas, chants, beads, and a pandeiro -- enhances his music's originality and eclecticism sprung from Cuban roots. Whether or not listeners comprehend Spanish is irrelevant; Lara's style is compelling and understandable in any language. [Considering that Nil Lara includes four of the seven tracks off My First Child, and three of four off his EP The Monkey, fans might opt for obtaining this release over the previous two.]

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