Lucky Diaz and the Family Jam Band’s Latest LP Is A Welcome Return

Courtesy:  Rainy Day Dimes

Courtesy: Rainy Day Dimes

Lucky Diaz and the Family Jam Band has had quite the ride in the last year or so.  Early last year, the band released its most recent album, the full Spanish-language release Aqui Alla.  Not too long after that, the band suffered a huge loss as it had a large amount of its equipment stolen and much of the sets for its children’s TV show either destroyed or stolen.  The massive losses were costly to say the least, leading the band to go to its fans to finance the creation of its new album Adelante.  Needless to say the band’s fans heard its calls and more than stepped up, allowing the band to finish Adelante and release it last month.  While not an entirely Spanish-language record, the majority of the record’s lyrics are sung in Spanish.  That should be noted right now.  Despite this it doesn’t take away from the album’s enjoyment even for those that are anything but fluent in Spanish.  Regardless of whether or not audiences are familiar with the Spanish language, audiences will find plenty to appreciate in this album beginning with the songs themselves.  The language barrier aside, some of the songs are in fact pretty easy to understand even when sung in Spanish.  On another level, the homage paid to certain classics of eras gone by will entertain audiences of all ages.  That will be discussed later.  The album’s sequencing rounds out the ways in which Adelante (which translates roughly to “Go Ahead”) impresses.  The album wastes no time from one song to the next as it progresses.  Because it moves so quickly, its roughly thirty-three minute run time seems to fly by.  Simply put, it feels like the record ends almost as soon as it begins thus leaving listeners wanting more but in the best way possible.  Being that said pacing is partnered with such enjoyable songs, the end result of that combination is an album that is a wonderful return for Lucky Diaz and the Family Jam Band.

Lucky Diaz and the Family Jam Band’s latest full-length studio recording Adelante is a welcome return for the beloved kindie-rock band.  The album, the band’s sixth, is yet another that despite being largely a Spanish-language still proves itself to be an album that audiences of all languages will enjoy.  Every one of the album’s twelve songs is a fun, upbeat composition that will have listeners of all ages dancing.  Those that do speak at least some Spanish will even find themselves singing along, too.  Speaking of that singing along, both English-speaking and Spanish-speaking listeners alike will find themselves singing along to the likes of ‘Pinata Attack’ with its surf-rock style sound.  The song mixes both English and Spanish-language into its infectious guitar riffs, drumming, and keyboard lines for a song about breaking open a piñata that crosses both language and cultural barriers.  ‘Cantamos Hasta Seis,’ (roughly translated ‘We Have Up To Six’) is another one of those pieces that both English and Spanish-speaking audiences of all ages will enjoy because of its simplicity.  The song comes across more or less as a piece that teaches counting skills (unless this critic has misinterpreted its lyrics).  That can be inferred as the refrain of the song’s chorus sees Diaz and company counting in song both to six and to ten.  The lighthearted, almost playful nature of the song’s musical content adds even more enjoyment for families.  That is especially the case thanks to the use of the kazoo (yes, even a kazoo is used here) as part of the noted content.  Who out there doesn’t find themselves smiling at the sound of a kazoo?  The very name of the instrument itself causes smiles and laughter.  Just say it once and see.  Getting back on track, the examples noted here should make clear exactly why the songs featured as part of Adelante make it such an enjoyable record for both English and Spanish-speaking audiences.  It is of course only a small portion of what makes Adelante a record that audiences will want to “go ahead” and purchase.  The homage paid to certain songs of days gone by make the album even more worth the listen.

The songs that make up the body of Adelante are largely sung in Spanish. Though, there are some compositions included across the record that also feature some lyrics sung in English. This aside, the songs that are featured throughout the record are lyrically simple enough that regardless of whether audiences speak English or Spanish, audiences of both tongues and all ages will enjoy them. In turn, audiences will agree that the album’s songs are, in the bigger picture of the record, reason in themselves to pick up this latest release from Lucky Diaz and the Family Jam Band. They are only part of what audiences will enjoy about the album. Audiences that are familiar with their music history will take note that Diaz and company not only educate, but they entertain, too. The band has included at least two songs with this record that pay homage to music’s past. Those two songs are ‘Sol Solecito’ (roughly translated becomes ‘Only Sun’) and ‘Speedy Gonzalez.’ ‘Sol Solecito’ features lyrics sung both in English and Spanish. English-speaking audiences will instantly catch the homage to the timeless classic ‘My Only Sunshine’ in hearing the English lyrics. Its musical content makes it stand out from nearly every version that has ever been recorded, though. That is because as it is presented here, it is far more upbeat than the standard slower, sappy, saccharine-sweet lullaby style versions to which audiences are so familiar. In other words it is actually better than those renditions. ‘Speedy Gonzalez’ might be named after Warner Brothers’ famed rocket-fast rodent. But musically, it pays direct homage to veteran musician Elton John and his classic hit ‘Crocodile Rock’ with its musical content. The two songs are not entirely identical stylistically speaking. But it is obvious in listening to both songs that Diaz and company pay homage to Sir Elton with this composition as well as that famed fast-moving and equally fast-talking mouse. Older audiences that are familiar with the work of Sir Elton will especially enjoy it not just for the near direct throwback but also because it serves as a great way to get younger listeners into John’s music and eventually that of so many other legendary artists and bands. It is yet more proof of why the homage paid to music’s rich history even with only these two songs, makes Adelante a record that every listener should go ahead and add to their own music library.

The music that makes up the body of Adelante and the homage paid to the music industry’s rich history are both clear reasons that every listener should go ahead and add this record to their own personal music library. While both aspects of the album make it well worth the listen (and addition to one’s own music library), there is still one more element of the record worth noting that rounds out the presentation. That element is the album’s sequencing. Most listeners don’t take a record’s sequencing into account in its general effect. However as the sequencing here proves, it is extremely important in examining any record, not just this one. Audiences that pay close attention to the record will note that very little time is wasted between any of the album’s twelve total songs. Being that there is so little down time between the songs, the energy exuded in each song is in turn maintained solidly from beginning to end. It leaves the record feeling as if it is over just as soon as it begins. The end result of this is that audiences are left feeling completely fulfilled yet wanting more in the best way possible. That is the mark of a great album; an album that for Lucky Diaz and the Family Jam Band is a welcome return for a band that has been through so much.

Lucky Diaz and the Family Jam Band’s new album Adelante is a welcome return for the band. Its songs and its homage to music’s rich history both prove that true. The sequencing utilized throughout the record keeps the record’s energy running solidly from start to finish. All three elements together prove it to be a record that audiences of all ages will want to go ahead and add to their own music libraries. It is available now in stores and online. More information on Adelante is available online now along with the latest news from Lucky Diaz and the Family jam Band at:

 

Website: http://www.luckydiazmusic.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Lucky-Diaz-and-the-Family-Jam-Band/182600891967

 

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Bright Light Bright Light Announces Release Date For New EP

Courtesy:  Self Raising Records

Courtesy: Self Raising Records

Rod Thomas a.k.a. Bright Light Bright Light will release his new EP this Spring.  I Wish We Were Leaving will be released digitally April 7th, 2014 via Self Raising Records.  The EP’s title single is available for download now via iTunes at https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/i-wish-we-were-leaving-single/id822205953?ign-mpt=uo%3D4.  It can be streamed online now for free at http://www.theguardian.com/music/musicblog/2014/feb/21/elton-john-new-music.

Thomas was joined by a very famous singer on the title track to his new EP.  He was joined by none other than legendary singer Elton John.  Thomas explained in an interview how the collaboration came about.  “When I was producing the song on a very dramatic rainy day, I had a phone call from Elton saying he liked my first album, which blew my mind,” he noted.  “From then, I kept hearing his voice on the track. In time, I played him [the song] ‘I Wish We Were Leaving’ and he added his vocals. Although it wasn’t written as a duet, I love that his voice taking lead in the second verse is a reminder that every relationship has two sides and two voices.”

Sir Elton also commented on the collaboration.  He noted that working on the track was different from anything he was used to because he was unfamiliar with the recording process with music in the electronica genre.  But he was still optimistic about recording the song.  “Working with Bright Light Bright Light was a challenge for me as I love Electronica but am quite ignorant on the recording process,” he said.  “I had to sing in a completely different way which I really enjoyed. The song spoke to me as soon as I first heard it, and I think that the combination of our voices is ethereal and beautiful… as is the song.”

Thomas’ upcoming EP is not his only expected work scheduled for release this year.  He also has an as yet untitled full length album slated for release this Summer.  The track listing for I Wish We Were Leaving has been made available below.

I Wish We Were Leaving
tracklisting

  1. I Wish We Were Leaving

 

2. Matters

 

3. She Carves Her Desire
4. I Wish We Were Leaving [Severino Remix]
5. I Wish We Were Leaving [DJ Nita Remix]

 

 

 

More information on Bright Light Bright Light is available online at http://www.brightlightx2.com/, http://www.facebook.com/brightlightx2, and http://twitter.com/brightlightx2.  To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.