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Asi Somos - Silencio CD (album) cover


Asi Somos

Prog Folk

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Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Silence? But not now, rejoice with its music!

It is always a pleasure to listen and discover new material from bands that are still unknown within this musical realm, even more, within this progressive rock realm. If I asked you, do you know any Caribbean prog band?, your answer would probably be a NO, even you may ask to yourself, does prog music exist there?, and is where now I happily say, YES.

Así Somos is a band from Puerto Rico which is celebrating their 10 anniversary as such; who have released so far 2 albums, the first being "Injurias" back in 2002, and the one I am reviewing now released in 2007 and entitled "Silencio". The band has a strong and interesting mixture of several musical elements; in their music you will find a foklish oriented prog rock, what I love from them is that they don't deny their roots, I mean, they are creating different kind of Caribbean music (prog), but using typical sounds from their land. So if you want to explore to some new and refreshing music, when you'll listen to prog rock, jazz, and latin American rhythms, Así Somos is an excellent choice.

This album contains 15 songs and a total time of 54 minutes, and kicks off with a strong instrumental song entitled "Paragorn", with a fascinating violin sound, accompanied by some wind instruments and a constant drumming, a thing that I would like to remark, is that they added orchestral arrangements to this album, so it sounds fantastic.

"La Mafia" Is the first song featuring vocals, I really like that gently voice, and since I am a native Spanish speaker, I really enjoy the lyrics. Here, musically you will find that own and unique Asi Somos' sound, full of Caribbean elements which may put you in a dancing mood, several percussion instruments and the "classic rock" instruments such as guitar, bass and drums. The song is delicious and intrepid, an example is when it reaches minute 4 and all of a sudden those orchestral arrangements and a choir appear to add that special touch to the music, which was not used in their past album. Great song.

"Oda a Mi Generación" is a reggae-like song that tells a very nice story, and that also incorporates some wind instruments here and there and with a very kind rhythm, creating a beautiful sound. The next piece is called "Rumba" which is a mini song that as the name suggests, evokes you to the rumba world. Immediately after it ends, a new song appears, "Mi Canción" which also incorporates a rich sax sound, delicate percussion games, a very nice acoustic guitar and of course, a beautiful violin sound. This song has also some mini changes inside, so suddenly the instruments create a complete different atmosphere, but seconds later it returns as it began. Again, the addition of a choir makes a great complement for the song. It finishes with that rumba style of the previous track.

"Estudio 1" is another short but excellent musical composition, when you can appreciate their excellent musicianship and talent, here the sax and violin interplay all the time and create a fabulous mood, I would also like to mention the drummer's work, which is always in the right moment. Excellent!

"Musa de un Velero" start with some orchestral arrangements and sound like an old film's episode, but seconds later little by little the percussion enter, so it gives a different perspective of the music. The vocals return here as well as that gently sound, but a couple of minutes later it becomes a complete Caribbean song, so you may want to dance, but wait, because later it returns to the soft and of course, no-dancing sound.

"Ola Nocturna" follows the style of this record, a nice introduction and then you know, violin, drums, acoustic guitar, sax and vocals, this song may be one of those I like singing, very catchy and pretty first, but later you will find excellent violin and sax solos, then it returns to that happy and catchy style.

"Estudio 2" is a pretty short choral song which is like the introduction to the following track, "Descendiente" which is alike to the other songs, I mean the album as a whole is working really good. The music is excellent, and the lyrics also great, here there are some spoken words before minute 2, and that vocal choir appears here suddenly, intelligently placed in the right moment.

"Estudio 3", naturally is another short instrumental piece that works as the prelude of another longer track, but this time this short passage reminded me to a Yann Tiersen theme within a French film. So this short piece opens the space to the title track "Silencio", starting with some vocals and a kind of dramatic mood, but later it becomes really Caribbean, I mean a delicious dancing rhythm which is very well accompanied by the violin sound. In some moments along the whole album, when both violin and sax or trumpet interplay, remind me to some VdGG passages, so prog may not be their obvious rhythm but it does exist here and works very well. There is a small part on this song when the mood changes completely due to those orchestrations and choirs, but it sounds specially good because while you are listening to the folk elements from Puerto Rico, all of a sudden you´ll find a medieval and nervous sound, excellent song, one of the best here, if not the best.

"Solsticio", different from the others, it starts with a soft acoustic guitar sound, like a kind of lullaby at the beginning, but later drums and sax appear with the same soft sound, as well as the vocals. This is another catchy song which you may classify as a pop song, but believe me it is really good.

"Cachita" is a track that my mother and I immediately recognized, originally composed by Rafael Hernández, who is an icon in Puerto Rico, but arranged by the talented Asi Somos. I told you about my mother because since she was a kid, my family called her "Cache" and of course she was familiar with this song. An excellent introduction passage that some seconds later turns into that "Boricua" sound, to be honest I am not a real fan of Caribbean traditional styles, but cannot deny that I like some songs and when I am in the mood, I even have the will of dancing, incredible.

The album finishes with "Palabras Locas", whose complete version is found in their debut album, I mean while there lasts almost 10 minutes, here was a reduced 4 minute song. The Injurias version is much better for me because I believe there you can listen to what the really wanted to create in those 10 minutes; here, the addition of orchestral elements also helps the song to create a completely new atmosphere, which is also excellent, but you know, I prefer the long one.

Since the first time I listened to Silencio, I felt really happy and was convinced that this album would put a smile on my face, and I was correct. Así Somos managed to create a joyful record, which invite the listener to get deep into their traditional music, but mixed with another elements, the sound here show the maturity the band got with some years of effort, so, if you are willing to discover new music from a different part of the world, please pay attention to Así Somos, from Puerto Rico.

Special thanks to Cecilio, who kindly invited me to enjoy their second album.

My final grade, 4 stars.

Enjoy it!!

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Posted Saturday, February 27, 2010 | Review Permalink

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