Last Spring, kindie-rock band Lucky Diaz and the Family Jam Band released its sixth full-length studio release. That album, Aqui, Alla, is an interesting work. Its title translates roughly to “Here, Over There” in English. Considering the wide swath of topics covered in its new album, Aqui, Alla actually becomes a fitting title. From the band’s own take on the classic children’s song about a certain little spider trying to get up a drain pipe to the album’s upbeat party tune ‘Viva La Pachanga’ (ft. Flaco Jimenez) to the gentle, moving lullabye that is ‘Tu Eres Amor’ Aqui, Alla shows time and again why it is just as enjoyable a recording as the band’s previous recordings, the full Spanish-language approach aside. That isn’t to discount any of the album’s other tracks, either. When taken into consideration with those tracks not noted here, the album in whole shows exactly why Lucky Diaz and the Family Jam Band remains *ahem* here, there, and everywhere and will remain to do so for as long as the band chooses to keep making music.
Lucky Diaz and the Family Jam Band’s latest full-length effort is a rarity for the band. That is because it is an album recorded wholly in Spanish. On the surface, this could actually be a burden to the band as not every listeners speaks Spanish. This critic is one of those individuals. However, with an English translation of its lyrics, even English-speaking audiences will agree that Aqui, Alla is just as enjoyable a recording as any released previously by Lucky Diaz and the Family Jam Band. The addition of the songs’ musical side proves this even more. One example of this lies in the band’s take on the classic children’s song ‘The Itsy Bitsy Spider.’ This take on the song stays largely true to the original while giving it something of a new identity both musically and lyrically. Diaz and company give the classic an updated vibe musically speaking. It’s a decidedly pop sound that is sure to have toes tapping even among those that might not be so familiar with Spanish. Even the song’s lyrics are given a little bit of an update with Diaz singing, “The little spider/Climbed up, climbed up, climbed up/Down came the rain/And washed the spider out/Out came the sun/And dried it all up/Out came the sun/And the little spider climbed up.” Again, Diaz and company have stayed largely true to the original tune while giving it a much welcome update at the same time. It’s an update that listeners of all ages will enjoy regardless of their ability to speak Spanish.
Lucky Diaz and the Family Jam Band’s “reboot” of ‘The Itsy-Bitsy Spider’ is a great example in itself of what makes Aqui, Alla a fun listen for audiences of any age. That is thanks to the fact that the band stayed true to the original while giving the song a much-welcome musical update. The band’s equally upbeat original ‘Viva La Pachanga (ft. Flaco Jimenez)’ is another great example of what makes this album such a hit for the whole family. The song’s full-on celebratory sound will have the whole family on its feet, dancing along as Lucky Diaz sings, “Come with me/Let’s go/I want to sing/Come friends to dance/Tonight I want to be with my family and celebrate.” He and his band mates sing in the song’s chorus with just as much gusto, “Long live the party.” It’s a short song lyrically. But musically, it comes in at nearly three and a half minutes. The juxtaposition of the song’s lyrical simplicity and its standard run time makes the song whole in every sense of the word. It shows that a song doesn’t need a lot, lyrically speaking, to be fun. All it really needs is an upbeat musical side that will have everybody dancing along. And that is exactly what this song has, which is again exactly why it is another piece proving why Aqui, Alla is so fun for the whole family regardless of their familiarity with the Spanish language.
Both the band’s update of ‘The Itsy-Bitsy Spider’ and its upbeat original ‘Viva La Pachenga’ are wonderful examples of what makes Aqui, Alla an album that the entire family will enjoy. They prove that every family will enjoy this record regardless of their familiarity with the Spanish language. That is thanks because of both the songs’ lyrical and musical content. Both songs show the band’s continued creativity and originality this far into the band’s life. The band’s heartwarming ballad ‘Tu Eres Amor’ proves this just as much. It is a touching song little tear-jerker that will leave a smile on any listener’s face and even a possible tear in any listener’s eye. That hugely emotional impact is thanks in large part to the combination of the song’s musical and lyrical content just as with the previously noted songs. The song is anchored musically by a pair of gentle keyboard parts played partially on an electronic keyboard and what sounds like a child’s toy bell set. The possible inclusion of that child’s toy as part of the song’s musical side is fitting considering that Diaz’s subject is singing lovingly to his young daughter in this song. He sings to her, “From the very first time I saw you/I haven’t been able to be away from you/If you are far away, I miss you/And I can’t be another day without you.” He goes on to sing in the song’s chorus, “You are love/You are forever my love.” Every parent out there knows the emotion generated in this song. Again, it’s one more way in which Diaz and company reach not just children with this album but the entire family. Diaz’s subject goes on in much the same fashion through the song as he sings to his daughter essentially telling her that the stars will guide the way back to him when he’s away. It’s obviously metaphorical. But it is a touching sentiment. And it adds even more emotional punch to the song. That punch proves why this song is one more top-notch example of what makes Aqui, Alla such a great listen for the whole family regardless of listeners’ familiarity with Spanish. Whether for this song, the others noted or those not noted, Aqui, Alla proves in whole to be a record that every family should hear regardless of availability of English translations.
‘La Pequena Arana,’ ‘Viva La Pachenga (ft. Flaco Jimenez) and ‘Tu Eres Amor’ are all excellent examples of why every family should hear Aqui, Alla. They are just a small handful of examples, too. There are plenty of other songs on this record that are equally enjoyable in their own right. Regardless of whether audiences need English translations for each of the noted songs, every family will agree in hearing this album that Lucky Diaz deserved its recently won Latin Grammy and why it is one of the top names in children’s entertainment today. Aqui, Alla is available now in stores and online and can be ordered direct from the band’s online store at http://luckydiazmusic.shop.musictoday.com/Product.aspx?cp=62777&pc=ZFCD06 along with the band’s previously released albums. Families in Monterrey, Mexico will get to hear some of the songs from this album as well as the band’s previous albums on March 21st, when the band performs there. That date will be followed up by a string of dates in California from April 4th to July 12th. More dates follow that string of performances. Families can keep up with the band’s latest tour dates and news online now at:
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