Adrian Quesada – Boleros Psicodélicos (2022) [Official Digital Download 24bit/88,2kHz]

Adrian Quesada – Boleros Psicodélicos (2022)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/88,2 kHz | Time – 37:02 minutes | 690 MB | Genre: Latin, R&B, Psychedelic
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download | Front Cover | © ATO RECORDS

Adrian Quesada (Black Pumas) presents Boleros Psicodélicos: a celebration of the super funky, slightly delirious and deeply soulful sounds that transcended the cultural boundaries of Latin America throughout the late ’60s and early ’70s. All twelve tracks were produced, engineered, mixed and largely performed by Quesada with vocals from former Calle 13 member iLe, Gabriel Garzón-Montano, Girl Ultra, Angelica Garcia and Gaby Moreno. Marc Ribot and Money Mark (Beastie Boys) also contribute.

By the time Adrian Quesada released Boleros Psicodélicos in 2022, the guitarist and producer had already compiled a stellar career as a driving member behind two Grammy-winning bands (Grupo Fantasma and Black Pumas), played in groups ranging from the party funk of Brownout to the dusty psych of the Echocentrics, worked with hundreds of artists in a variety of roles, and crafted a loving homage to Texas-based Latin soul music of the 1960s with 2021’s Look at My Soul: The Latin Shade of Texas Soul. Quite an impressive CV, but what was lacking was a breakout album released under his own name. Boleros Psicodélicos fixes that and then some. Conceived as a tribute to the kind of romantic baladas he heard on the radio as a youth in the late ’70s and early ’80s, the record features songs that mix dramatic vocals and big emotions with laid-back and in-the-pocket playing reminiscent of the kind of retro-soul Daptone cranks out, only with a spacey, echoing Latin twist. Quesada’s chunky rhythm guitar and twanging leads are juxtaposed with punchy drumming, space-age organs, and nimble bass playing as a variety of singers tackle both originals written in the balada style and covers of past hits. The singers come from the top of the charts (iLe of Calle 13), the ranks of the up-and-comers (Rudy De Anda), and everywhere in between. The match between song, production, and vocalist is symbiotic as Quesada gives the singers with big voices an impressively large boost with strings, keys, and echo to help them rise to the upper reaches of the emotional atmosphere. Angelica Garcia achieves liftoff near the end of “Ídolo” and threatens to take all listeners along for the ride, and Gaby Moreno likewise chews the scenery deliciously on “Puedes Decir de Mi,” wringing every drop of pathos out of the melody. When the singers are more earthbound, Quesada constructs more humble musical surroundings to fit them. The more fragile vocals of Girl Ultra on “El Payaso” are complemented well by the harpsichord fills and tinkling piano runs that sound almost French — the song has a real yé-yé kick. Similarly, on “El León” he creates a rockabilly carnival setting full of shimmering guitar arpeggios and fun-house organ for Rudy De Anda’s tremulous voice. Again, a perfect match of singer and song and more proof, in case it’s still needed, that Quesada is a top-notch producer. He’s also turning into quite the revivalist as well, and Boleros Psicodélicos works as an introduction to the ballads of his youth as well as a showcase for some great interpreters of song, Latin or otherwise. Even if the listener couldn’t care less about history, a song that packs as much of a wallop as the iLe-sung “Mentiras Con Cariño” will be sure to turn some heads — and break some hearts too. The whole album works on those kinds of multiple levels and is the best kind of history lesson, one that comes to life completely. – Tim Sendra

Tracklist:
1-01. Adrian Quesada – Mentiras Con Cariño (03:48)
1-02. Adrian Quesada – El Paraguas (03:01)
1-03. Adrian Quesada – Ídolo (03:55)
1-04. Adrian Quesada – Hielo Seco (02:51)
1-05. Adrian Quesada – El Payaso (02:57)
1-06. Adrian Quesada – Tus Tormentas (03:37)
1-07. Adrian Quesada – Puedes Decir De Mi (02:49)
1-08. Adrian Quesada – Eso No Lo He Dicho Yo (03:08)
1-09. Adrian Quesada – Esclavo Y Amo (03:35)
1-10. Adrian Quesada – Ya No Me Quieres (00:49)
1-11. Adrian Quesada – El León (02:46)
1-12. Adrian Quesada – El Muchacho De Los Ojos Tristes (03:40)

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