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Cai - Canción De La Primavera CD (album) cover



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erik neuteboom
4 stars Cai is a top notch Spanish progrock band that made three studio-albums, this is their final effort.

1. El viaje (4:38) : A very pleasant and melodic sound featuring wonderful Spanish vocals (warm and a bit melancholical undertone), tasteful keyboards (including a fluent synthesizer solo), twanging electric guitars and a strong rhythm-section.

2. Tu mirada (3:12) : This one delivers a mid-tempo with a jazzy synthesizer solo, handclapping and fiery electric guitar, supported by sparking piano play.

3. Mercadillo del piojito (4:32) : A track thats sounds like a very dynamic blend of jazzrock and symphonic with splendid interplay, beautiful string-ensemble and Fender Rhodes piano. The powerful and moving guitarwork reminds me of Carlos Santana (his jazzrock-era). GREAT!

4. Donde tu estas (3:52) : First classical piano and warm vocals, then a slow rhythm with the wonderful string-ensemble sound, blended with sparkling piano. The final part contains sensitive, often howling electric guitar and soft synthesizer flights.

5. Fiesta en el barrio (3:38) : "Fiesta" is Spanish for "party", no surprise that the climate in this song is cheerful (a 'latin feel') with a swinging rhythm and excellent interplay between the guitar and keyboards.

6. Caletera (2:44) : It starts with the distinctive Fender Rhodes piano sound, then a mid-tempo featuring sensitive eelctric guitar and again the wonderful string- ensemble sound!

7. Camino a seguir (4:24) : This one has a pleasant mid-tempo with a swinging bass, beautiful electric guitarplay and emotional vocals.

8. Cancion de la primavera (4:40) : The final track delivers a cheerful atmosphere with lush keyboards, expressive vocals and great interplay between the guitar and keyboards, supported by a dynamic rhythm-section.

Don't expect very complex music or typical progrock with lots of soli and shifting moods. Just enjoy the wonderful melodic and harmonic music from just another wonderful Spanish progrock gem!

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Posted Saturday, September 17, 2005 | Review Permalink
Cesar Inca
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Cai's third and final effort finds the band exploring a more commercial vein for their Flamenco-tinged symphonic prog; the major reason for this was due to pressures from the recording label's powers-that-be, but all in all, the band managed to do a more than decent album, at times resulting in a couple of particularly brilliant numbers. These are, specifically, the two instrumentals - 'Mercadillo del Piojito' and 'Caletera'. The former is a complex yet catchy exercise on jazz-rock with soft Arabic colours: something like a combination of Weather Report and late 70s Rush - it may sound odd in black and white, but when you listen to it, you can tell that it works fluidly, providing a sense of excitement and exoticism in equal proportions. The latter is more evidently rooted on the trend of Flamenco-jazz, in many ways similar to what Guadalquivir used to do, as exciting as the aforementioned number but a bit more tender and definitely less bombastic. In fact, I wouldn't have minded if 'Caletera' had been at least one minute longer, since its melodic lines and rhythmic cadences are really captivating, performed with absolute finesse. Among the sung tracks, the best ones have to be 'Donde Tú estás' and the closing title track, since they are the most stylistically related to the spirit of their excellent preceding album "Noche Abierta". The amazing elegance of the guitar and keyboard parts and Vélez's inventive bass lines and ornaments meet a proper sustenance in Fopiani's solid, fusion-tinged drumming. Once again, I have to say that these two numbers could have benefited from a more expanded arrangement in order to fully exploit their progressive potential, but the guidelines from the production staff seemed to be undisputed, way back then. The remaining four tracks stand closer to the poppy side of things - not that these are bad songs, what's more, 'Tu Mirada' is one of the best semi-ballads from Spain's rock that I have ever heard. The opening track and 'Camino a Seguir' follow the path of jazz-pop, while 'Fiesta en el Barrio' [a.k.a. the single A-side] takes the Flamenco drive to a poppish ground. These songs are not as simplistic as they may seem at first listen: the proficient performing remains intact, but definitely, the splendour is (at least partially) missing. After a brief tour that followed this album's release, drummer/lead singer Diego Fopiani left the band, which led to its demise. The three remaining musicians formed an ephemeral jazz-rock act, and after that, keyboardist Chano Domínguez went on to become what he has been for the last 10 years, one of the top jazz pianists in Spain. Overall score for "Canción de la Primavera": 3.25 stars. This is not an essential prog item, but it sure is good enough to provide real pleasure to the average symphonic prog lover.
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Posted Wednesday, October 5, 2005 | Review Permalink
Prog-Folk Team
3 stars Cai goes Return to Forever on their final disk, with some Weather Report and Passport thrown in. If you want a lot more improvisation and serious jamming, still within a generally short track format and with a less obvious flamenco flavour, this one is worth exploring. It lacks the overt romance of "Noche Abierta", but the instrumental skill and discipline remain in plentiful supply.

Probably the highlight along these lines is "Mercadillo del Piojito", a simply joyous and energetic instrumental exploration with superb arrangements. Some of the vocal tunes seem geared towards a more pop-oriented audience. This doesn't always work, as in the cheesy keyboards of "El Viaje", but the catchy fast paced "Fiesta en El Barrio" makes up for it.

I suppose I could imagine someone preferring this finale over the predecessor, but it simply lacks the warmth, replacing it with more frenetic mathematical signatures. A lot of quality is still to be found, hence Cai bows out with 3 stars on their "spring" swan song.l to be found, hence Cai bows out with 3 stars on their spring swan song.

Report this review (#162945)
Posted Friday, February 29, 2008 | Review Permalink

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