Banda Salvatierra

Asi Es la Vida

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Since the front and back photo of Asi Es la Vida shows 16 people, it's probably not surprising that the album has a bigger than life sound. Trumpets and tubas provide Banda Salvatierra with more cushioning than a German oompah band during Octoberfest. Salvatierra's spirited vocals thrive in this heavy mix, matching the lively instrumental accompaniment with his vibrant, full-throated style. As one might expect from such an exuberant approach, the songs -- "Aquel Amor," "La Gran Mujer," and "La Basurita" -- are upbeat and infectious, the kind of music one might play at a wedding party or some similar festive event. The arrangements, while dominated by horns, also include lively percussion, pushing songs like the title cut and "Corrido de Malverde"into a rhythmic frenzy. While this heady mixture of multiple horns, percussion, and a singer might seem like too much, everything works together admirably, and even busy songs like "Que Suerte la Mia" and the "Asi Es la Vida-Remix," never sound noisy. Salvatierra's overall approach also benefits from the two-to-three minute-length of each song, which guarantees that none of these pieces ever overstays its welcome. Asi Es la Vida is a fun, contagious album, and a good introduction to Salvatierra.

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