Seguridad Social

De Amor, Vol. 2

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The companion volume to Compromiso, Vol. 1, both albums recorded live on the group's 1994 Spanish tour and released the same day, packs a pretty solid opening punch. The 1983 ska blast "Comerranas" sounds plenty full, with just three instruments working up the crowd in the final acceleration, and the excitement level doesn't drop off with the strong rockers "Mi Rumba Tarumba" and "Me Siento Bien." De Amor follows the lead of Compromiso -- the songs span the group's career from 1982, and there aren't many changes in the arrangements or tempos and almost no solo padding. It's just a good, smart band singing their songs without studio overdubs and not adding or losing much. It's the oddities that stick out here -- "Oye Como Va" without extra percussion, ska played sans horns or keyboards and the 1982 punk assault on "Silent Night" of "Los Pinguinos Estan Helaos" (The Penguins Are Frozen). Little Spanish touches occasionally flash into the music -- actually, little bits of lotsa things pop up here and there, like the pretty blazing '50s rock guitar in 1982's "Eres una Estupida" or clipped chords à la the Kinks in "Despierta Mi Pasion." Compromiso probably rates as the pick of the two, because it has most of Seguridad Social's major songs and thus is a better single introduction. But it's weird with so few changes in the arrangements from the studio versions--both volumes are probably more for fans who know the band but both may be even more valuable for people who have never heard Seguridad Social before.