It's tough to encapsulate the sounds of a city into one medium, let alone an eleven-track disc. However, through the mixture of Colombian cumbia, Cuban rhythms, Caribbean steel drums, good ol'-fashioned rhymes, and melodic vocals, Suenalo smacks any wannabe jam band right in the grill with its multicultural sabor on this debut album. The ten-member group known for energetic live shows and its Saturday-night jumpoff at Jazid is a great example of live music in Miami, because Suenalo knows how to keep the groove going. As evidenced on "The Hits," the vibe evolves from an electric-guitar-driven, smoky coffeehouse to a full-on Brand New Heavies-esque acid jazz barnburner led by a hair-raising sax solo, before flowing into a percussion-heavy encore that would be at home on the break of any Santana record. MC Amin comes off like the Dominican Black Thought on "Bassilar," dropping rhymes on grindin' Latino style, while the flute interlude in the infectiously space-funky "Guajira" will inspire the moonwalk out of any b-boy, and "Mamaawae" reinvokes the spirit of Afro-beat king Fela Kuti. Also check out the excellent cover art courtesy of the fresh monkey, local artist Krave. Sire Esquire
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