Rhythms Del Mundo

by

comment

Alternative and modern rock faves reinterpreted with and by the Buena Vista Social Club sounds like God's gift to public radio, back of course when public radio played music. But these iPod classics reinvented as Afro-Cuban two-steps are more often than not revelations too. Ibrahim Ferrer and his Social Club pals pull Coldplay's "Clocks" off its U2 high horse and transform it into an epic folk ballad, and Chris Martin sounds more passionate than pretentious. Same for Jack Johnson's "Better Together" and Maroon 5's "She Will Be Loved," which become dirt floor ballads in new hands. Sting turns in an appropriately moving and hushed "Fragilidad." The Arctic Monkeys' "Dancing Shoes," meanwhile, loses none of its original bite; the Buena Vista-ing comes with dancing piano, horn stabs and hot percussion that give the track a hard swing. The real stars here are the BVSC members themselves. Omara Portuonodo gives "Killing Me Softly" new gravity in a post-Katrina world, and El Lele de Los Van Van recontextualizes Radiohead's original as a Gulf Coast plea. Finally, Ferrer's version of "As Time Goes By," his last recording before his 2005 passing, has an elegiac quality up there with Johnny Cash's American V: A Hundred Highways. The novelty of this music will get you to listen. The craft and true emotion will keep it on your playlist.

Hobey Echlin writes about music for Metro Times. Send comments to letters@metrotimes.com.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Detroit Metro Times. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Detroit Metro Times, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at letters@metrotimes.com.

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Detroit Metro Times Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Metro Times Press Club for as little as $5 a month.