On September 16th, 1997 Ry Cooder and Juan de Marcos Gonzalez released the very first album from the musical conglomerate known as Buena Vista Social Club. That was seventeen years ago. Fast forward to 2015. Cooder and de Marcos Gonzalez have both kept themselves quite busy with their own projects; so busy in fact that up until this past March, the pair had released only one other recording under the Buena Vista Social Club moniker. The recording, a live recording titled Buena Vista Social Club at Carnegie Hall, was released in 2008 via World Circuit Records around the World and on Nonesuch Records domestically in North America. Despite keeping so busy with their own projects Cooder and de Carlos Gonzalez did record some other pieces both in studio and live that until now had never seen the light of day so to speak. And thanks to the efforts of those at both World Circuit and Nonesuch, Buena Vista Social Club’s fans now have some of those recordings in the form of the group’s new compilation record Lost and Found. Lost and Found is a wonderful addition to any true music lover’s music library first and foremost because it is not just another compilation of “previously unreleased songs” and “new” songs. Instead it balances both some of the group’s previously unreleased songs with some of its live recordings, too. It really makes a valid effort to balance both elements, too. Both the live and studio elements offer their own enjoyment, too as audiences will hear. That is especially the case when examining the audio mix in the live recordings. Last but hardly least worth noting of the compilation is that even those audiences that don’t speak Spanish won’t have to worry about knowing any Spanish. That is because the songs’ musical side speaks volumes. The old adage that music is the universal language proves true time and again throughout each song. Audiences will find this for themselves when they listen to this collection of songs. It speaks volumes, too saying to audiences of all ages that Lost and Found is another record that proves itself one more of this year’s best new hits compilations.
Lost and Found is only the third overall collection of songs to be released by Buena Vista Social Club since it released its debut self-titled album in 1997. While not technically a collection of new studio recordings, it is still a record that proves itself well worth the listen. the main reason that it proves itself so worth the listen is that it isn’t just another contractually obligated space filler that has been haphazardly thrown together. Rather it is obvious in listening to the album’s fourteen total tracks that a lot of thought was put into the compilation’s assembly. While the group’s previously unreleased songs dominate the record, there are at least three live recordings included throughout the record, too. What is more, neither the members of BVSC nor the label reps at World Circuit or Nonesuch try to make them anything but what they are–b-sides that simply never made it to record because of the group’s commitments to other projects. This is different from compilation records churned out by so many other acts across the musical universe. Other acts try to market their compilation records as some sort of huge bonus for audiences and fans. They throw in “bonus making of DVDs” or “bonus live tracks, etc.” to try to convince audiences to pay for records that really end up bring hardly worth the money. It’s good to see that none of the parties involved here took that route. It creates within itself a solid foundation for the record and all the more reason for audiences to hear it regardless of their familiarity with BVSC.
The overall makeup of Lost and Found in regards to its sequencing makes for more than enough reason for audiences to hear this record. It’s just part of the reason that audiences will want to hear this record. The record’s production values add even more reason for audiences to hear this record especially with the live recordings included in the record. the audience noise is kept so well in check in the live recordings both on the front end and the back that they almost don’t feel like live recordings. There is just enough of that noise to let audiences know they are in fact hearing live performances. On another level, the musicians themselves are just as expertly balanced throughout each of the live performances, too. That means that each part can easily be heard. Just as impressive is that in hearing each performer, each part sounds so full that yet again one almost wouldn’t know one was hearing a live performance if not for the slightest amount of crowd noise just underneath the performers. It really is a tribute to the work of those charged with handling the audio mix in the noted recordings. That isn’t to take away from those that handled the production of the studio tracks of course. The production values of those tracks is just as impressive as that of the live recordings. All things considered, the work of those charged with handling the recordings’ production are to be commended. Their wok paid off in spades here, leading to yet another reason that any listener will enjoy this record.
The work that went into getting Lost and Found’s songs to record is definitely worth the mention in examining what makes this compilation so enjoyable. When partnered with the mix of live and previously unreleased studio tracks (as well as the compilation’s marketing), audiences are presented with double the reason to check out Lost and Found. For all of the value of these elements, the value of the songs’ musical side is just as worth noting. Regardless of whether or not audiences speak Spanish, every listener will appreciate the record’s musical side equally. It is said after all that music is the universal language. though for those that speak at least a little bit of Spanish, those audiences will appreciate the balance of the songs’ musical content with their lyrical content. From one song to the next each song presents its own depth and enjoyment thanks to the balance of music and lyrics. Such impressive balance of musical and lyrical content throughout the record solidifies Lost and Found’s success. Together with the record’s mix of songs and their marketing, and the production values of the songs, all three elements together make Lost and Found a record that every listener will be glad that they found.
Lost and Found may not necessarily be a new record from BVSC. Even being a compilation record, it is still an impressive record in its own right. That is thanks in large part to its included songs and related marketing of said songs. It doesn’t try to claim to be some special bonus record for audiences that is in reality just an obligatory space filler. It is a collection of songs that paints its own special picture of BVSC. The record’s production values are just as much worth noting both in terms of its studio tracks and its live recordings. Last but not least is the fact that whether or not audiences speak even the slightest bit of Spanish, the musical side of these songs will offer more than its own share of enjoyment. For those that do speak at least some Spanish, those audiences will appreciate the attention paid by the musicians to the link between the songs’ lyrical and musical content. All three elements together show clearly that Lost and Found is a record that every music lover will be glad to have found. Lost and Found is available in stores and online now and can be ordered online direct from Nonesuch Records’ online store at http://www.nonesuch.com/store/buena-vista-social-club. More information on this and other titles from Nonesuch Records is available online now at:
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