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Quetzal: Worksongs (2003)

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Quetzal: Worksongs No stars How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.

Quetzal is a leading Chicano band from the Los Angeles area. Produced by Los Lobos’ Steve Berlin, Worksongs shares the same quiet dignity characteristic of Los Lobos’ best work while expanding the Latin American stylistic palette. In this way the band is quite unpredictable, but any output is of the highest quality.

Worksongs is almost divided evenly between Spanish and English lyrics. Those songs sung in Spanish, "Planta de los pies," "Limones Agrios," and "Luna Sol," all tend toward the more traditional Latin feel than their English counterparts. However, it is on the anglophonic pieces that the band really stretches and reaches their musical zenith. Typical of this on the recording is the fast, Celtic-inflected "Decide," a beautifully multicultural song in the best possible way. "Learning Solitude" begins with a hip-hop beat before flowing into a complex head sliding beneath Martha Gonzalez’s plaintive singing.

Worksongs is breakthrough music with greater gravity than what pop music currently offers. This is Latin American pop for the serious listener.

For more information, see Quetzal Music and Vanguard Records .

Track Listing: This Is My Home; Planta De Los Pies; Alimentate; Worksongs; Limones Agrios; Decide; Learning Solitude; Time To Go; Luna Sol; Relationships; Modern Man.

Personnel: Edson Gianesi

Record Label: Vanguard Records

Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


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