Maná

Revolución de Amor

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Like English-language rock, the rock en español field has its superstars and its more underground artists. Superstars like los Fabulosos Cadillacs and Shakira can easily fill a huge soccer stadium in Mexico City or Buenos Aires, while the more underground artists perform in Latin America's small clubs. Maná falls into the supergroup category; in Latin America, the Mexican outfit is as huge as Creed or Pearl Jam. And like other bands who are enormously successful, Maná has their share of detractors. Maná's detractors criticize the band for being slick and highly polished, and Revolución de Amor is unlikely to change that perception. There is, to be sure, a certain amount of slickness and arena rock gloss on this 2002 release. But there is also an impressive amount of craftsmanship; in fact, Revolución de Amor boasts some of Maná's strongest writing. This time, Maná's writing is quite consistent -- the band has recorded some uneven albums, but Revolución de Amor isn't one of them. All of the songs are extremely listenable, and that is true whether Maná incorporates Mexican elements on "Mariposa Traicionera" or gets into a salsa-influenced groove on "No Voy A Ser Tu Esclavo" and "Sabanas Frías." For all of their pop gloss, Maná can be challenging -- both musically and lyrically. Musically, Maná uses a variety of influences to their creative advantage -- everything from salsa to reggae to North African music -- and the lyrics address both sociopolitical and romantic concerns. Revolución de Amor is unlikely to convert anyone who has been critical of Maná's work in the past, but those who have had a generally favorable view of the band will find this CD to be among the Mexican rockers' strongest, most consistent efforts.

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