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Alameda - Noche Andaluza CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.22 | 8 ratings

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Cesar Inca
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Noche Andaluza was the last Alameda album for their first era. This one, although in many ways follows in the lightweight Flamenco-based art-rock fixed on the preceding album Aire Cálido de Abril, it also brings back some of the symphonic colorfulness that had made the best of the band's first two albums (especially, the namesake debut release). The namesake song is actually an old instrumental piece that has been a full classic for generations of Andalusian men and women; here, Alameda gave it a stylish treatment focused on jazz-oriented Flamenco rock and lyrics. The final result is a moving refurbishment of a compellingly beautiful theme. The following two songs highlight the old and new Alameda successively: 'Con Música y Aroma' is a mid tempo Flamenco rumba with a predominant role for the synth solos and orchestrations, as well as some tasteful use of Latin percussions at unison with the drum kit. 'Días de Amor' is a soft rock tune stated on a pasodoble tempo (there are a couple of tracks like this in the Aire Cálido album). 'Por los Espacios del Tiempo' brings back part of the spirit of the jazzier songs from Alameda: perhaps a longer duration would have allowed the track to breathe properly and exploit its groove more convincingly. Anyway, its artistic goal is petnetnly more ambitious than those of the preceding two songs. The pairing of 'Umbría' and 'Bajo la Sombra y el Sueño' has to be the album's highlight. 'Umbría' is a brief Spanish guitar solo that floats concisely over an orchestral background, serving as a prelude to the magnificent architecture of 'Bajo la Sombra y el Sueño'. This track features the elaboration of dual keyboards, Roca's enchanting singing and a solid rhythmic basis that shows a revealing tightness without showing off. The sad thing regarding the album in general is that the aforeaid paired tracks become more impressive because the following two really aren't: 'Desnudos' is a pop-rock tune with slight jazzy tones, while '¿Qué Queda Después de Amar?' sticks to the pop-rock thing. The melodic motifs are not special, they can even be trivial and somewhat uninspired. The closer is a delightful introspective ballad that partially serves the day, providing a dignified farewell to a a band tha twas a very interesting exponent of the Andalusian wave of prog rock during the late 70s and early 80s. Great Noche Andaluza is not, but it is good enough to become a nice item in any good prog collection.
Cesar Inca | 3/5 |


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