Monday, August 9, 2010

Fiel a la Vega - Equilibrio

I like latin rock a lot. Wait, no, let me rephrase that: I absolutely love latin rock. From Santana to Mana, I think it's one of those genres that will always be close to my heart due to my latin american roots. Having grown up in Puerto Rico, I was always an avid listener of the small time bands stationed there. Most of them were rip-offs of better and bigger american bands, but of course I did not know this at the time, so I absolutely loved them all. As time went on, my music tastes expanded and I started seeing that most of those small bands, well, most of them were just trash. The only really good one around was none other than Fiel a la Vega. They were original, and their lyrics were all about revolution and independence for the island of Puerto Rico. Being the rebel that I am, I absolutely love them. Imagine my excitement when I found out that they were releasing a new album, one with a more rock oriented sound, but lyrics in the same vein as their previous ones.

The album is named after one of the singles off it, Equilibrio. Sadly to say, this and 3 other tracks are the only really good tracks in the album. The bands shift to a more rock oriented sound wasn't a good shift, it was one that I will label as "meh". Most of the album is in the valley of mediocrity, with a good percentage of the songs sounding very similar in riffs and chord progressions. No longer is the spanish guitar present for some nice little finger picking. No longer are the bongo drums, or conga drums for that matter around. The signature Fiel a la Vega sound is almost non-existent in this album, and it really is quite sad.

This is not to say that the album is completely terrible, it's just different, and for those people who have grown to appreciate the bands previous sound, like me, the shift will be something that will be too different for us to enjoy. One thing off the album that we will be able to enjoy are the forever present lyrics about the Puerto Rican people's struggle against big brother aka United States of America. Rebellion and revolution themes are scattered all throughout the album, and it really is it's saving grace. The sound might be different, but the lyrics are still there, which gives us hope that the next album will see a shift back to the old sound, but with the lyrics us Fiel a la Vega fans have grown to love.

If you are new to this band, I would not suggest you start off with this record. Listen to them in the consecutive order that they were released, so you can appreciate this band a lot more.

Fiel a la Vega - Equilibrio gets a 6/10

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