Thursday, June 26, 2014

CD Review: Amanda Martinez' 'Manana'

Amanda Martinez

Canadian-based and Latin-influenced, Amanda Martinez astounds audiences with her third release, Manana. The Latin-based release incorporates a bit of jazz, flamenco, pop, and folk amid a world music fusion of sorts that just works. The vocals are in Spanish and English with detailed liner notes for each song included. The English-sung, "Frozen," is a contemplative, swirling song of angelic melody and longing humility. The giddy and vibrant, "Esperanza Viva," contains a great Latin rhythm and catchy melody with full percussion, drums, guitars, and back-up vocals on this pop-centered track. "Nuevos Caminos" continues in the Latin traditions with heartfelt vocals and a great percussion set that is enthralling and memorable. The jazzy, "No hay Distancia," opens with a pensive trumpet and a slow, minimalist beat with Amanda's smoky voice that is both tender and authentic. Amanda showcases her vocal talent in-line with classic singers from Latin America, but in a youthful, nostalgic manner. Overall, Manana is a real treat for fans of Latin music in general. This is not your typical flamenco/conga/drum music, as it moves beyond those monikers and incorporates other styles and instruments to make it very appealing and worthy of repeated listens. ~ Matthew Forss

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