Fito & Fitipaldis

Por la Boca Vive el Pez

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Fito & Fitipaldis' fourth studio album not only became an instant blockbuster in the first week of its initial release in 2006, but also demonstrated enough staying power to reach multi-platinum status. Por la Boca Vive el Pez thus confirmed and topped the success of its predecessor, Lo Más Lejos a Tu Lado, and definitely cemented the band's superstar status. In fact, for a moment the band had all of its studio albums in the Top 100, an unprecedented feat in Spain. Musically, Fito & Fitipaldis follow the trail opened by Andrés Calamaro and Ariel Rot's Los Rodríguez, a cocktail of Rolling Stones' rock and rhythm & blues with a Mediterranean flavor and sensibility. Not coincidentally, their rhythm section of bassist Candy "Caramelo" Avelló and drummer José "El Niño" Bruno is the same employed by Calamaro since 1999, and they have also participated in Los Rodríguez and Rot solo albums. The key element of distinction, of course, lies in Fito & Fitipaldis' trademark Knopfleresque guitar sound. Indeed, Fito Cabrales and Carlos Raya seemingly know the first two Dire Straits albums by heart, and their interplay of staccato pick rhythm and fingered elegant, laid-back licks constitute the heart and soul of this album's finest moments, such as the hits "Por la Boca Vive el Pez," "Me Equivocaría Otra Vez," and "Acabo de Llegar." There is also room for a stomping instrumental, and a few boogies that showcase the talent of the remaining members, sax player Javier Alzola and pianist Joserra Senperena: this band is obviously a tight live act, and they want everybody to know it. For all their merits, Fito & Fitipaldis' Achilles heel remains their derivativeness. Their lyrics and compositions are never trite -- but seldom unforgettable. Still, Por la Boca Vive el Pez is certainly one of the most accomplished collections of pop/rock songs to come out of Spain in recent times, one fully deserving their massive success. If only more chart-toppers were as fine as this.

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