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Album Review

Fito & Fitipaldis became Spain's top pop/rock artists with the release of 2006's Por la Boca Vive el Pez. Three years later, Fito is still riding high with Antes de que Cuente Diez, an album that sold more units in its first week than any other record in Spain in 2009, surpassing international heavyweights like U2 and Bruce Springsteen. The Spanish audience has not changed their mind, but — and perhaps unfortunately — neither has Fito. Antes de Que Cuente Diez is indisputably an accomplished record, but it is also content with repeating a by-now familiar formula. The music is still firmly anchored in early Dire Straits and '80s Rolling Stones, and Fito is still an honest, endearing, singer and songwriter bent on following the footsteps of Andrés Calamaro or Joaquín Sabina, but with only sporadic flashes of brilliance. This collection mixes good and not-so-good songs but, as usual, they are all made to sound better than what they actually are because of Fito's guitar playing and his terrific backing band, made up of regular Fitipaldis Carlos Raya, Javi Alzola, and Joserra Senperena, augmented by top sessionists Pete Thomas (of Elvis Costello & the Attractions fame) on drums, and Andy Hess (David Byrne, the Black Crowes) on bass. Recorded in New York, produced by Joe Blaney, and mastered by Bob Ludwig, Antes de Que Cuente Diez is sonically unimpeachable, and songs such as the opening title track and first single are bound to dominate the Spanish airwaves for months to come. Still, even this album's best moments ("Que Me Arrastre el Viento," "Me Acordé de Ti") are one or two notches below Fito's career highlights: the outstanding Por la Boca Vive el Pez in particular. All in all, a solid album, but one that adds little to Fito's career; it will please his fans and introduce a few choice reinforcements to his already excellent live act.


Formed: 1998 in Bilbao, Spain

Genre: Alternative and Latin Rock

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Fito Cabrales, former vocalist for Spanish rockers Los Platero y Tu, left the successful group in 1998 in search of a new sound. Cabrales formed his own group, calling it Fito & Fitipaldis. Striving to synthesize such elements as soul, pop, swing, flamenco, Tex-Mex, and Latin jazz, Cabrales claims that "everything has a place in this emotional, complex-free music." His free-spirited approach to songwriting is easily summarized: "I would like everybody to understand these songs their own way....
Full bio
Antes de Que Cuente Diez - Single, Fito y Fitipaldis
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