Sometimes a record will grab you by the throat and make you change the way you look at the world.
…And sometimes it won’t.
El Guincho, the producer/singer behind Alegranza! has made a great dance record. The kind of album that can make a whole club get up from their barstools. Layer upon layer of painstakingly sampled Tropicana drums don’t so much as invite you to dance as demand it.
But if you’re like me, someone who likes to sit down and try to understand what the music is saying, you’ll find Alegranza! frustrating. From start to finish the album sustains only one high intensity dynamic. Songs stay in the same tempo range, with no ballads or different feels. Imagine being on the Gravitron at Coney Island for 40 minutes. Sure the first five minutes are fun, but after that you’re just nauseous and bored.
So if you’re trying to throw a great party or if you need background music for dancing in your underwear, I’d say get yourself a copy of Alegranza! If not you should probably skip this one over.
LORENZO WOLFF is a musician living in New York. He can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org