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Asi Somos - Injurias CD (album) cover


Asi Somos


Prog Folk

3.00 | 3 ratings

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3 stars Progressive folk from Puerto Rico. You won’t hear that phrase much, but Así Somos are the real deal that seem to have the right credentials in terms of influences. They also have the creativity to blend folk compositions with salsa and Afro-Caribbean rhythms, plus both native and modern instruments and come up with a pretty unique sound. This is not only good prog-folk, it is dance music that will get your foot tapping and put a smile on your face. No dirge-like chamber strings here, so have some loose clothes and comfortable shoes on when you play this album.

The other thing worth pointing out is that violin prog-fans will find plenty to love here. Violinist Duamed Colón Carrión dominates on most of the more progressive (i.e., less dance-oriented) tracks, including the quite beautiful “Palabras Locas”. I’ve always had a soft spot for Latin string players because of the innate sense of passion they bring to that instrument, and Carrión is no exception. On the more salsafied and jazz numbers he fades into the mix a bit and does a bit more plucking than seems necessary (“Incultos” and “Cometas del Tiempo” in particular), but for the most part songs like “Palabras Locas” , “Dos Minutos” and the title track wouldn’t have the same emotive feel to them without his strings.

The lyrics are all in Spanish so they’re a bit hard to follow without the English translations, but it doesn’t take much Spanish language knowledge to know that they tend toward earthy and cultural themes and are not all that serious and sometimes even outwardly humorous. Something about living on an island seems to make people a little less uptight I think. Probably for the best.

Based on what I can see from the band’s web site and various Puerto Rican cultural sites I think these guys probably make their living playing live shows, so the locally-popular nuances in their music (and particularly the tendency to introduce dance rhythms into almost every song) is pretty understandable. Nonetheless this is clearly progressive music, just probably best classified as of the ‘world’ variety. Think Osibisa but more Latin and you’ll get a pretty good sense of what these guys are all about.

This isn’t a masterpiece or essential classic or anything like that, but it certainly is a very good album infused with lots of energy, passion and goodwill. If you are strictly a metal-head or someone who only listens to records that were released prior to the advent of the personal computer and push-button phones then these guys probably won’t appeal to you much – you might want to invest in another Doors compilation and call it a day. Otherwise I think you’ll find this to be an entertaining and refreshing hour of your time. Well recommended with three stars.


ClemofNazareth | 3/5 |


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