Review: Buena Vista Social Club ‘Lost and Found’

I have long been a fan of Cuban legends Buena Vista Social Club and I’m lucky enough to have bagged a ticket to their Adios Tour in Manchester this weekend so a review of their latest album ‘Lost and Found’ seems somewhat appropriate…

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Buena Vista Social Club are a group formed in the 90’s comprising of veteran Cuban musicians who performed in the famous Havana Buena Vista Social Club before it closed in the 1940’s. The  original self-titled album sparked a revival of Cuban music amongst a wider audience and introduced the world to Cuban classics such as ‘Chan chan’. Their new album ‘Lost and Found’ featuring previously unreleased recordings of the band does not disappoint and is the perfect summer soundtrack for every listener, from the seasoned latin music fans to those new to Cuban sounds! So what does the album sound like?

The album opens with ‘Bruca Manigua’ recorded live in Paris, which has smooth cha cha beat that instantly transports you to sunny Cuba where you imagine girls in beautiful, full skirts and driving around in old American cars with the roof down. The perfect soundtrack for a summer’s morning!

The Cuban beat deepens in the second and third tracks ‘Macusa’ and ‘Tiene Sabor’ and you find yourself unable to keep your feet from dancing; like being in the Buena Vista Social Club itself! The fourth track ‘Bodas De Oro’ is a slower, sexy cha cha sound before the irresistible drum beat of ‘Black Chicken 37’ kicks in followed by a lighter string melody which shows off the incredible musicianship of the group.

The sound melts and becomes more romantic in tracks 6 and 7, ‘Habanera’  and ‘Como Fue’ which you can imagine slow-dancing to into the small hours before slipping off into the Havana night to write your own love story…

With a tantalising piano montuna track 8  ‘Guajira En F’ jolts us back into the dancehall for a rousing cha cha featuring some wonderful Cuban melodies in the vocals. ‘Quiereme Mucho’ showcases the talent of the guitarist with a melancholy, romantic solo before the vocals come in with a similar, soulful mood in ‘Pedacito De Papel’, recorded after-hours in the Havana studio long after other band members had left.

Track 11 ‘Mami Me Gusto’ truly is a showstopper featuring stunning vocals by the late Ibrahim Ferrer; loud, Cuban and with heavy percussion I challenge you not to dance! The salsa beat of ‘Lagrimas Negras’ is infectious and features the vocals of Omara Portuondo whilst the final song on the album ‘Como Siento Yo’ is a divine piano solo by the late Ruben Gonzalez.

This truly is a wonderful collection of some really stunning Cuban music. If you’re looking to expand your musical horizons this summer or be transported to a more tropical climate without leaving your living room then Buena Vista Social Club’s ‘Lost and Found’ could be just what you’re looking for…

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