Listen to Clandestino by David Alvarez and there is no denying that he’s paying tribute to his hometown of Manzanillo, Cuba, known for its long tradition of music in the trova style. Each song is like a poem beautifully arranged to music, transporting you to a time when things were simple and music spoke to the soul.
A work in progress since 1989, Alvarez explains this album is “a dream finally realized. “Desventura” (Misadventure), opens with an Andean charango sound that is masterfully mixed with Mediterranean flare. Haunting but incredibly soothing vocal against strings, it leaves you craving more. “El Alma” (The Soul), a song about the fear of losing one’s soul to a woman and pleading her to return it, incorporates flamenco, giving it dramatic overtones.
Recorded in half a dozen studios including his own home-studio, Clandestino, is the sum of 15 self-composed songs that are a road map of emotions, hopes, and dreams. One man, an acoustic guitar and poetic songs set to enchanting musical arrangements - a refreshing album that it is sure to be a classic and much needed in an industry that has lost its soul.
Words by JCM