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Magical Thinking

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iTunes Review

With his third studio album released as Chico Mann, musician and producer Marcos Garcia (a former guitarist for The Daktaris and Antibalas) puts his love for Latin funk, Afrobeat, and cumbia on the back burner to craft a more relaxing listening experience. Magical Thinking isn't without its groovy moments, though. With help from Kendra Smith (who coos like “Heart of Glass”–era Deborah Harry), “Same Old Clown” oozes a glossy disco cool that’s somewhat reminiscent of Chico Mann’s 2010 LP Analogue Drift. “Estrellitas (Little Stars)” infuses retro Detroit-flavored dance beats with indie salsa. But the opening cut, “Comes and Goes,” sets a much mellower tone with hypnotic synthesizer riffs and beautifully demure singing by Annakalmia Traver. From the fuzzy blankets of soft keyboard distortion to a pulsing mantra of muted beats, the woozy “Edge of It” is similarly easy on the ears. But “One Day Late” proves to be the catchiest tune here; Garcia's guitar leads toned with '60s go-go style slather the song’s infectious melody across a pillowy bed of electro-soul.


Born: New York City, NY

Genre: Electronic

Years Active:

Chico Mann is the alter ego of guitarist Marcos Garcia, of the Daktaris and Antibalas. He was a founding member of both bands. As Mann, he is a solo artist and producer. Mann/Garcia grew up the son of Cuban émigrés -- his mother was a pianist and disc jockey; his father a record label boss and producer of merengue records. Surrounded by music, Mann soaked up the influences of salsa -- particularly Willie Colón's bands -- early hip-hop (in particular the genre-blurring sounds of Afrika Bambaataa...
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Magical Thinking, Chico Mann
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