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Rhythms del Mundo Cuba

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Album Review

Turning the covers album concept on its head, Rhythms del Mundo: Cuba doesn't set a varied group of northern artists loose on the music made famous by the Buena Vista Social Club, but instead sets the Club's members lose on the northerners' own songs. Now that's an inspired idea, and all to aid charities assisting the victims of natural disasters and raising awareness of climate change. However, to call this a covers album is a bit misleading, as most of the songs feature the original vocals, and occasionally some of the original instrumentation, but it's not a remix project either, as the Social Club add their own music to the original recordings. So, it's a grand fusion of Cuban and northern sounds. And eclectic to boot, with songs contributed by such international artists as Quincy Jones, Sting and U2, as well as the likes of Radiohead and Coldplay. But to give the set a real frisson, the Social Club also took on such younger, feted artists as Franz Ferdinand, Maroon 5, the Kaiser Chiefs, and the so hot they're actually sizzling Arctic Monkeys. Reaching back into the past, Ibrahim Ferrer and the Club also deliver up a lush cover of "As Time Goes By," Omara Portunondo joins Ferrer for an equally lavish "Casablanca," and in another (and one of her final recordings) the late singer offers up a heartrending "Killing Me Softly." These numbers give the set its timeless quality; the rest its up-to-date feel. Not every song works perfectly, Jack Johnson's vocals are a bit uncomfortable rhythmically on his version, but Coldplay's is superb, the Arctic Monkeys are absolutely lethal, U2's track is stunning, and Dido and Faithless' is sublime. The Club brings out the sweetness and glow of Maroon 5's song, give the Kaiser Chiefs a wonderful Latin kick, totally reinvent Radiohead, then give Quincy Jones a lesson in authentic Spanish music, while trotting out their own soul credentials. Of course the musicianship is flawless, the arrangements inspired, and this mix of north and south proves that the music is not just simpatico, it was surely made for creative melding.

Customer Reviews

Some good stuff

Personally I'm not into the latin music much but I heard clocks on the radio and was straight mesmerized. I think that a lot of these songs are mixed well and do a really good job (including dancing shoes ^open your mind a little^) but at the same time they begin to sound repetitive and the ones with the spanish music don't hold me as well. Overall, I think it's a really cool, fun effort and worth downloading at least a few.

A novel idea...

Not every melody instantly meets up with Latin rhythm. But this album is more a success than it is a failure. There are some masterful arrangements here. Particularly, "Clocks", "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For", and "Killing Me Softly". You don't need to buy the entire album, but there certainly are some gems here.

rockin rhythms

Great new versions of older songs. The Latin beat and horns add new vigor to the music. I loved it.


Genre: Latin Pop

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Rhythms del Mundo are a band of Afro-Cuban musicians featured on a charity compilation series of the same name that debuted in 2006. The Rhythms del Mundo series is a nonprofit project intended to raise awareness for climate change and disaster relief in conjunction with Artists Project Earth (APE). Produced by music industry veterans Kenny Young and the Berman Brothers, the first album in the series, Rhythms del Mundo: Cuba (2006), finds affiliates of the Afro-Cuban superstar group Buena Vista Social...
Full Bio

Top Albums and Songs by Rhythms del Mundo Cuba

Rhythms del Mundo Cuba, Rhythms del Mundo Cuba
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  • $6.99
  • Genres: Latin Pop, Music, Latino, Dance
  • Released: Nov 14, 2006

Customer Ratings