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Island Life

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Album Review

Yerba Buena let their Deee-Lite out and come to terms with their inner Kid Creole & the Coconuts on their spicy, sparkling, and entirely weekend sophomore release, Island Life. The album is one Saturday short of their stunning debut, but there are more quirky and smart touches and the highlights are extra spicy. The collective blend together a wealth of Latin styles like they did on their debut, but this time hip-hop is favored over house when it comes to outside influences. That M1 from Dead Prez has to adapt his style to the band rather than vice-versa is an interesting and different way to handle the usual hip-hop guest appearance, and minus the reggaeton remix of "Sugar Daddy" snuck on the end of the CD, the album favors organic over electronic. "Sugar Daddy" works best in the club, but the rest of the salsa-meets-son-meets-whatever-they-feel-like album works just fine in the car, on the headphones, and anywhere else the party needs starting. Segues, skits, and sound effects are part of the picture, as are an assortment of guest artists that are obviously enjoying themselves. Few acts could handle John Leguizamo, Les Nubians, and Celia Cruz on the same album, yet Yerba Buena handle them all on a single track. According to Yerba themselves, Island Life, Rovi


Formed: New York, NY

Genre: Salsa and Tropical

Years Active: '00s

The Latin American collective Yerba Buena was organized by producer and multi-instrumentalist Andres Levin, a native Venezuelan who'd appeared on records by Marisa Monte, Arto Lindsay, Aterciopelados, and Tina Turner, as well as helming the critically acclaimed Fela Kuti tribute Red Hot + Riot. Yerba Buena arose from Levin's wish to bring together a band capable of melding forms old and new, learning from each other in the form of a school. Gradually, the lineup coalesced, including vocalists Xiomara...
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Island Life, Yerba Buena
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