Rene Lopez – E.L.S.

January 01, 1970

(Nat
Geo Music)

 

www.natgeomusic.net

 

E.L.S. is
a moniker for “Electric Latin Soul,” and Rene Lopez more than meets that
head-on on his groove-happy new CD. Over eleven tracks he mixes and matches
electro-powered combinations of cumbia, boogaloo, rock, jazz, hip hop and
shing-a-ling into classy configurations, always with an eye and ear towards a
scintillating groove. 

 

E.L.S. is noteworthy for its
sonic palate alone: produced by Lopez plus Beastie Boys pal and collaborator
Mario Caldato Jr. and David Hurwitz, it sports a rich and full, bright electro-
infused sound with sexy, elastic bass lines, more attention to grooves than
beats, and a whole menu of great ideas. Lopez’s appealing voice is front and
center, testifying to the myriad pleasures of being young, Latino and seemingly
endlessly talented. In addition to vocals, song-writing and co-production,
Lopez also plays drums, percussion, synths, keyboards, guitar, bass and more,
with a dozen + more musicians filling it all out. 

 

“E.L.S.”
kicks it off with funky cinematic style, but the mega-groovy second track, “I
Flow,” sounds like Lopez’s statement of purpose. “It took me 25 years to find
my flow” he says, and in fact the entire record is suffused with a seductive
flow from start to finish. “Fa La La De Fa” is a mix of percussion driven
boasting with a dubby undertow, “Honey Got Some Love” is all suave glitchy
flow, and the up-beat “Shing-a-ling Is What I Bring” speaks for itself. “Johnny
Wants to be a Matador” is terrific bright propulsive pop, “Everything We Do”
sounds like one of Barry Adamson’s soundtrack numbers, and “Puerto Ricans in America” boasts
both ethnic pride and incredible forward motion. The trippy cinematic jazz of
“Moonfeather” perfectly caps it. 

 

This
is happy, joyful music. Electric Latin Soul, oh yeah. It flows. 

 

DOWNLOAD: “I Flow,” “Shing-a-ling
Is What I Bring,” “Puerto Ricans in America,” “E.L.S.,”  “Fa La La
De Fa.” “Honey Got Some Love.” CARL HANNI

 

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