Latinized!/Casa Musica

Latinized!All Latin, 22 tracks, mostly vocals (2007)
Overall: B+

Another in Casa Musica’s Original Hits for Dancing series, this CD is a collection billed as “Latin-Flavoured Hits selected by Dancesport-DJ Berry Bleij.”

About half of the cuts on this CD from Casa Musica are strong, with most having a contemporary Latin sound. Whereas so often, a Samba featuring drumming without much melody is just, well, drumming, both “Mi Bombon” and “Amambanda” are Sambas that combine good energy with melodic interest. The Cha Cha “Less Talk More Action” is catchy with good energy but the lyrics may be a bit racy for some.

If you like pop songs redone in Latin style, Hotel California (Samba) is actually quite a good rendition. “Like a Virgin” (Rumba) does not fare as well. And if you really need to add another version of “Lipstick, Powder, and Paint” to your collection, this one by Roomful of Blues is definitely the one. It would do as well on the Ballroom floor as in a Myrtle Beach Shag club and clocks in at a nice 2:41.

Another classic in its own right, “Matchbox” by Carl Perkins is a good, high-energy Jive as is “Girls All over the World” by the cover band Big Town Playboys. “Satisfy My Soul” (Rumba), performed by the great Paul Carrack, is stirring, with a perfect tempo despite not having a Latin flavor. It’s worth buying the CD for that track alone.

“Hey Boy (Get Your Ass Up)” could have/should have been left off, being neither Latin nor a good Jive. Ditto for “These Boots Are Made for Walkin’.”

Advertisements
Published in: on April 2, 2008 at 9:05 am  Leave a Comment  

Bologna Open 3–Latin Classic/Prandi Sound

Bologna Open 3--Latin ClassicAll Latin, 18 tracks, mostly vocals (2007)
Overall rating: B+

A good collection of Latin pop hits remade in strict tempo by Prandi Sound. Often remakes of Latin music by Ballroom orchestras are flat—but not this time. Naturally, this music doesn’t have as much heat as the original Latin versions, but it does a pretty good job.

Standouts include the Sambas “Hips Don’t Lie” and a respectable remake of Azucar Moreno’s “Ven Devorame Otra Vez.” Surprise treats are updated versions of “Mas Que Nada” (Samba) and “Bang Bang” (Cha Cha). Well-worn standards by any measure, both tunes benefit from modern arrangements, and “Mas Que Nada” is freshened up with just the right amount of rapping! “Somos Novios” (Rumba), never a bad selection, offers a male and female duet that is just lovely, if sounding a bit old-fashioned. One of the prettiest melodies, “Para Amarte” (Rumba) appears twice, once as a nice female vocal and once as an instrumental, as does “Where Do I Begin” (Rumba).

As far as the two Jives, well, as usual on this type of CD, they are throwaways and hardly worth a listen. Only one Paso is included, and it’s a nice break from Espana Cani, but nothing to get excited about.

Most of the cuts are under three minutes—an advantage over the original Latin versions, which typically ramble on too long for competition practice or even for social dancing.

Published in: on March 22, 2008 at 2:31 pm  Leave a Comment