Review Jose Conde – S/T


Earnest lyrics and a freshness of sound are two of the trademarks on Jose Conde’s eponymously-titled debut album. Musically it takes the freshness of 70s Isley Brothers and early West Coast rap and takes it on a trip through Nuyorican salsa (“Love and Happiness”), Cuban son (“Elefante en Hotel”) and tango (“El Vestido”).

Lyrically the album is straightforward but with an earnestness that becomes extremely addictive. It also makes the songs very easy to translate, something Jose Conde takes care of here. “Mabel” is sung in Spanish and Portuguese and “Mujer” in both English and Spanish, with the sing-along nature of the latter the perfect excuse for such a translation.

Stylistically and linguistically then Jose Conde is a diverse album but the continuity in the production and the lightness that the production brings make the album a real success, and could easily see it find a place next to classic global music albums by Manu Chao, SMOD and Buena Vista Social Club as well as those classic, airy, hope-filled soul, jazz and salsa albums that seemed two a penny in the 70s.

Jose Conde was released by Pipiki Records on Sept 6th and is available from Amazon and iTunes.

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