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Los Jaivas - Alturas de Macchu Picchu CD (album) cover

ALTURAS DE MACCHU PICCHU

Los Jaivas

 

Prog Folk

4.20 | 267 ratings

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kenethlevine
Special Collaborator
Prog-Folk Team
4 stars To the baby boomers weaned on Latin American music via "El Condor Pasa", "Alturas De Macchu Picchu" comes as both a comfort and a shock. Simplistically speaking, this album presents nothing but amplified traditional (or neo traditional themes), almost stereotypically so at times, particularly on "Amor Americana", but a mere gentle scratch on this veneer reveals a more accurate picture. The arrangements are more symphonic progressive than anything, retaining the original melodic inspiration while displaying considerable virtuosity, particularly on the many piano embellishments and the tumescent bass, even if the lead guitars are occasionally a bit dichotomously raucous.

The exception to the generally overriding folk flavour can be found in spades in the eleven minute wonder that is "La Poderosa Muerte", where Los Jaivas comes close to defining some type of new genre. The suite is highlighted by the best vocals of the album, stately shifts of pace from pensive to harried, and an overarching purpose. It can also be appreciated from listen 1 to n, where n approaches infinity.

While "Alturas de Macchu Picchu" is an essential classic of progressive folk and one of the best from South America, its over-reliance on archetypal tunes prevents it from reaching the peaks of which it speaks. 4.5 stars rounded down.

kenethlevine | 4/5 |

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