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Los Jaivas - Alturas De Machu Picchu CD (album) cover


Los Jaivas


Prog Folk

4.22 | 308 ratings

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3 stars I was never fan of folk-prog (or folk-rock), but I saw this Los Jaivas album in PO Top-100 for a long, and at the first possibility I just decided to listen it. To be honest, I have some experience with earlier Los Jaivas album, and singing poetry/Latin folklore I heard on it didn't impress me at all.

But - new album often means new impression. Album's opener "Del Aire al Aire " is short Andean folk instrumental with birds singing sound over it. Not bad, but still folk I was so disappointed on my previous experience with Los Jaivas. Second song "La Poderosa Muerte " is nice Andean folk composition combined with singing Pablo Neruda poetry and some keyboards. Somewhere from the middle of the composition drums and bass are taken their place as well, so in whole it sounds as folk-based psychedelic prog composition with symphonic elements. OK, things go better I see. In some moments it sounds as South American version of early RPI, but at least there is some rock and some prog on this album!

Third song ,"Amor Americano", opens with electric guitar soloing, and I start to believe this album is related with progressive rock ! Vocals on this song are bombastic and almost operatic, but OK, such things happens. I think the bigger problem than vocals (with is great by itself, but is hardly connected with rock music) is the fact that all album's music is very static. By the way, folk element on third song sounds very similar to Chinese, how strange!

"Aguila Sideral "begins with spacey/birdie effects we heard yet on one of previous song, but there electronic sounds are on the front ,what gives some psychedelic atmosphere. Simple and nice Andean melody with prog keys from early 70-s.

"Antigua America" is a rare real progressive song on this album, kind of keyboards-based symphonic prog, with light flavour of Latin folk. Not very original, but it represents Latin symphonic prog-folk as I understand it."Sube a Nacer Conmigo Hermano" is something what I usually hear from "Buena Vista Social Club" with some additional electric keyboards and guitars. I really love Cuban music, and this song is great reminder.

Album's final song - "Final" - is short neoclassical semi-acoustic ballade.

It's difficult to evaluate such album in whole. Really better then some their earlier folklore works, it is specific kind of folk rock with some progressive influences. Folk element is really very strong, and some songs are just modern folk. Prog elements on other songs are presented, but usually they are early RPI or symphonic prog , coming from early 70-s. The album is recorded in 1981 in France, and it aged bad.

Generally not a bad album, but more the music for specific fans of Andean folk-rock, possibly could attract RPI and few symphonic prog fans as well. For any other progressive ROCK fan could be a very risky purchase.

My rating is 2,5,rounded to 3

snobb | 3/5 |


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