Los Centellas

Por Amor al Arte

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The tuxedo-donning Spanish quartet Los Centellas -- which translates as "The Sparks" -- produced a parodic, loungey, and romantically tinged pop sound. Though the band had a short career, they managed to cut a hit and earn two platinum CDs before calling it quits. Their hit, " La Luna Y el Toro," gained notoriety in Spain and influenced the development of a number of bands who tried to clone Los Centellas' success. On their CD Por Amor Al Arte, lead singer Toni Lopez belts out suave, full-bodied vocals on top of the jangley acoustic guitarra work of Miguel Ramírez, the uncomplicated basslines of Paco Galán, and the straightforward drum work of Pepe Florido. Many of the songs on Por Amor el Arte begin with a dedication, which in turn strengthens the band's lounge-like aura. The least successful cut on the CD, "La Bien Pagá," is a blues-based number that features a guest guitarist, piano player, and chorus. The additional musicians clutter the bare bones Los Centellas sound. All in all, Por Amor el Arte is an entertaining CD that is most successful when it reflects the Los Centellas' forthright musicality and somewhat tongue-in-cheek shtick.

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