CD Review: Fulano – ‘Individual’
By Francesco Emmanuel - 03/19/2007 - 01:27 PM EDT
Individual is the fourth release by multi-talented, bi-lingual, two-time Grammy nominated Latin artist Fulano a.k.a. Eslten Torres. It is a blend of Latin influenced pop songs with hints of folk, jazz, country & blues. It is deeply immersed in Latin and Western rhythms.
The album is a melting pot of sorts – it’s a cross-section of Fulano’s musical history and cultural diversity. The songs are well arranged and every song blends nicely with the other. The placement of tracks can sometimes be the key between a good album and a great one, and this is a great album.
‘De Aquí a Mañana’ has a lovely upbeat Latin-jazz tempo to it, there’s a subtle build from verse to chorus, and subsequent drop back into the verse, very well crafted. A perfect choice to start off the album. It really draws the listener in and sets the mood.
‘Olvidaŕe’ has a beautiful violin line immediately following the chorus, which is just filled with hooks and solid melodies. The vocals and violin trade notes in the bridge leading back into the chorus.
It is fair to say that immediately, you get a sense of what a great songwriter/composer and arranger Fulano is, with just these first two songs. His voice is strong and smooth; personally I think all Latin singers are born with great voices, and Fulano is no exception.
‘For Today’ is the first English track, catchy and upbeat, with a great pedal-steel solo in the bridge. ‘I will always have this love’ is such a lil jazzy piano-driven number, that you can’t help but snap your fingers, it comes with a snippy guitar solo, short and slick. The key change in the last chorus for just half a bar is absolutely exquisite, just perfectly placed, there’s no other way to describe it.
There’s an ascending violin solo in ‘Anteayer’, which really elevates this lovely song to new heights. ‘When Summer comes’ is a dreamy number, layered with vibraphone, organ and pedal-steel, and a psychedelic wah. Maybe it’s the title of this song, or maybe it’s the instrumentation, but you might find yourself daydreaming about summer, especially if it’s a cold winter day.
‘Happy Endings’ feels like a Latin power ballad, but it’s sung in English, there’s this commanding guitar solo, which eventually leads back into the chorus, feel free to sing along anytime here.
Fulano was born in Cuba, but raised in New York City; his music has led him on travels throughout the US, Mexico, Canada, Europe and the Caribbean. His earlier albums, ‘Etc’, ‘Normal’ and ‘Revolución’ have become Latin pop standards.
In 2005, Fulano’s song ‘Todo el Año’ (which was recorded by Obie Bermudez) was nominated for a Latin Grammy for ‘Best Song of the Year’.
Prior to this the song was #1 on Billboard Latin charts for 5 consecutive weeks. In 2004, his song ‘Los Demás’ (recorded by Julio Iglesias Jr.) was awarded by BMI in the category of ‘One of the 50 most performed songs on Spanish Radio’, also reaching the Billboard ‘Top 10’ charts. Other big hits include ‘Caramelo’ (recorded by Alejandra Guzman), ‘Tanto’, ‘Tatuaje’ (J.D. Natasha) and ‘Por Una Mujer’ (Luis Fonsi)
‘Individual’ was produced by Fulano and Brendan Buckley (Shakira fame) and co-produced by Cesar Haliwa. The album was recorded at various studios in Miami, Florida & Los Angeles, California. It was mixed by Ryan Freeland at Stampede Origin Studios in Los Angeles.
Keep you eye out for this guy, Fulano is one ‘Individual’ you don’t want to miss.
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