Fulano de Tal


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Normal is a promising debut. Throughout the album's 12 tracks, Fulano de Tal (Spanish for "Mr. So and So") demonstrates a striking versatility, going from the skittering hard rock of "Selfish" to the Latin jazz-inflected "Inquietud." The title track, a seven-minute epic, is especially stunning, displaying a complexity few artists would even attempt. Similarly, singer Elsten Torres, singing in both English and Spanish, shows lyrical ambitions far beyond most singers. In between the Latino pride of "No Soy Gringo" and the mournful "Duele," he explores different emotions without ever seeming forced. Sometimes the band seems like little more than the sum of its influences, and on occasion the compositions seem more diffuse than they need to be. For the most part, though, Normal is an impressive debut from one of the most promising bands of the '90s.

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