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Bubu - Anabelas CD (album) cover




Eclectic Prog

4.25 | 645 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars Anabelas opens with the nineteen-minute "El Cortejo de un Día Amarillo," comprised of two subtitles: "Danza De Las Atlántides" and "Locomotora Blues." According to Google, this means "The Courtship of a Yellow Day (Dance of the Atlantis / Blues Locomotive)" "El Cortejo" can also refer to an entourage or a procession; indeed, at 8:15 the group plays "Pomp and Circumstance," the beautiful melody played as a processional at graduation ceremonies, at least in the US. I wonder, though, if the title is a play on "The Court of the Crimson King;" indeed, as has been repeated many times, there is a definite King Crimson influence here, especially on this first song. But I'd not go so far as to characterize this as a Crimson tribute. There are also hard-rock/fusion elements, and at least one section I'd refer to as either avant-garde or experimental. "El Cortejo" is largely instrumental.

The second song is the eleven-minute "El Viaje de Anabelas, which Google translates as "The Journey of Anabelas." I've been skeptical that "eclectic" is really a subgenre of any type of music - - it's just a description in my book - - but this song is eclectic per se, sounding a bit like Van Der Graaf Generator one moment before moving into a more avant garde section, then back to a more conventional motif. I'm pretty familiar with traditional Irish music, and "El Viaje" even has some parts that sound Irish to me. In the middle of the song is a theme that sounds like it was written for a marching band, and later they break into what could be the theme to a Spaghetti Western. "El Viaje," whose title comes from the same word as the French "voyage," begins with a relatively slow intro played on acoustic guitar and violin, with saxophones moving from the back to the forefront as a drumbeat becomes increasingly insistent. There is then a vocal part before the eclecticism takes over. Around nine minutes in, there is a break, and a plaintive solo violin enters, followed by some soft guitar accompaniment. A choir appears about a minute later, signaling the return of the winds, reeds, and percussion for a brief coda resolving on (what sounds like) a major chord.

The last song is "Sueños de Maniquí" ("Dreams of a Mannequin" or maybe "Dreams of the Mannequin"), which is a little like a rock interpretation of "El Viaje." The vocal section comes in the second half of the song, which devolves in its last minute into a freakout finish. One aspect of "Sueños" that distinguishes it from the other songs is the use of studio effects and what sounds like a bit of synthesizer (I didn't see any indication of this in the credits, although both the guitarist and bassist are credited with "effects" as well as playing their instruments). In a few places on "Sueños," as well as on "El Viaje," it almost seemed as if vocalist Petty Guelache was interspersing some English words here and there among the Spanish lyrics - - somewhat like Falco, the German new- wave singer, used to.

The sound quality of Anabelas is fair: nothing special, and somewhat limited compared to much of the progressive rock I'm used to hearing - - i.e., either remastered editions of older records or recordings of a much more recent vintage. The performances on Anabelas are good, though not outside of the normal range for this type of music. Meanwhile, the quality of the compositions is above average. This is especially true in the segues that tie together some rather disparate musical passages. I can't comment on the lyrics.

I had a little trouble in settling on a rating for this album. Ultimately, I decided that Anabelas is better than a three-star album. Despite the exaggerated claims of undue King Crimson influences, this is an original, adventurous album.

patrickq | 4/5 |


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