Savor Flamenco

Gipsy Kings

Knitting Factory Records, 2013

REVIEW BY: Tom Haugen


Though it's been seven years since this longstanding outfit from South France has released new music, the two groups of brothers that comprise Gipsy Kings return with a new home for their pop-influenced flamenco, salsa and rumba sounds that have made them cult favorites for two and a half decades.  my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

Containing a good mix of vocal tracks as well as instrumentals, the extremely technical music conjures up images of lightning quick finger work set to Brazilian folk music with a wide array influences. “Samba Samba” is a great example of this, combining bossa, flamenco and Brazilian sounds. “Tiempo del Sol,” an instrumental, goes another route with jazz feelings, flutes and heavy percussive fun. While there's a deep bag of noisemakers present, plenty of standard instruments are employed, as “Me Voy” brings in acoustic pianos and an upright bass and "Habla Contiguo" makes good use of a guitar solo. Nicolas Reyes handles vocal duties well, but even sans singing Gipsy Kings have no problem keeping attention, as standouts like the ballad “Fairies Melody” and dance-friendly “Sueno” both avoid singing.

Two and a half decades is a long time for any band to maintain their passion and stay true to their roots, and the Reyes and Baliardo families have pushed the boundaries of this sound with much success (if you've seen The Big Lebowski or Toy Story 3 you've already heard them). While many flamenco purists have accused Gipsy Kings of swaying from tradition, proof that their music has struck a chord worldwide is evident when Savor Flamenco debuted at #1 on the iTunes World Music Chart. With splashes of Latin music, Middle Eastern sounds and even rock music from the States, Gipsy Kings have sold over 20 million albums worldwide now – I’d say that they’re on to something really good that is still getting better.

Rating: B+

User Rating: Not Yet Rated



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