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The record is fresh indeed and illustrates what Lugo calls “the variety of moods that exists in life itself” and it’s this eclecticism and variety that makes the album an invigorating experience from start to finish. “Recording variations of the same idea over and over has never held interest for me” admits Lugo, and one gets the feeling his band members must feel the same way. Working with Casey Howard (Saxophone), Chris Morrow (Trombone), Neil Chastain (Drums/Congas), Kavin Paulraj (Bass), Andy Averbuch (Guitar) and Jake Fader (Guitar) for so long certainly facilitated the album recording process because at this point Lugo feels “we all know each other quite well both on stage and in the studio” and “the band and I have been very fortunate to experience many wonderful things together over the years, but time has also brought about changes to each of us and these songs reflect some of this collective evolution.”
There are elements of Colombian cumbia and champeta, Latin funk, reggae, ska, Brazilian, house, disco, psychedelic, and jazz elements, calypso, salsa, even gospel (with secular, double entendre lyrics!), as well as electronic beats and DJ looping and mixing techniques blending with organic, acoustic orchestral sounds, plus some mean guitar and of course African roots from high life and soukous to the Nigerian mother load called afrobeat. As with previous Kokolo releases, Spanish and Portuguese vocals are in as much evidence as English ones. Special guests include Jo Jojo Kuo from Cameroon and Elani from Brazil. Every tune is danceable but each has its own vibe from up to down tempo, protest to dance culture, social justice to hedonism. The record comes with an insert featuring an interview with Lugo, full credits and lyrics. The album ends with the lilting, mellow La Buena Fe, a track that points to the central theme of the record. “If nothing else, the message I like for people to take away from listening to Kokolo or seeing us live is this: positivity,” concludes Lugo. We live “in a world often filled with drama and problems,” and so Lugo “would like to think that being positive, thankful, can account for something. It provides an alternative.” Put the whole thing together and you get a heady mix that is sure to pass the fever on to whoever listens.
|A5||How We Gonna Work It Out|
|B1||I Love When Music Takes Me Away|
|B4||The Big Bamboo|
|B5||La Buena Fe|
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