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Agua de Luna

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Album Review

Ruben Blades' musical genius lies not only in his gritty, expressive voice, or in the fantastic musicians he surrounds himself with, although it is certainly there. It is most strongly felt, however, in the strength of his poetic, evocative, yet realistic lyrics; this is Blades' greatest contribution to the evolution of contemporary salsa. His poetry is a central feature of Agua de Luna (8 self-penned tunes), and his themes are brought home all the more strongly by including both English and Spanish translations of the lyrics in the CD's liner notes. While literal translations are nearly impossible, the listener/reader is struck by the mood and emotive force of Blades' music all the more. Of course, the band kicks, the arrangements soar, and the "coros" rock. Agua de Luna is a superb effort from one of salsa's poet laureates.


Born: 16 July 1948 in Panama City, Panama

Genre: Salsa and Tropical

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Rubén Blades is one of the most successful vocalists in the history of Panamanian music. A former member of bands led by Ray Barretto and Willie Colón, Blades has continued to influence salsa music with his highly literate, politically tinged lyrics and his modern-minded arrangements, which substitute the usual horn and Latin percussion sections with synthesizers and drum sets. Often referred to as "the Latin Bruce Springsteen," Blades provided a musical voice for the middle class of Central America....
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Agua de Luna, Rubén Blades
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