Locos Por Juana premieres ‘Caribe’ LP
GRAMMY and Latin-GRAMMY nominated band Locos Por Juana have been an integral part of the Pan-Latin party scene for quite some time, stemming from the heart of the Latin-fusion movement in Miami over two decades ago. While primarily focusing on Caribbean constituents, LPJ has shifted to incorporate more Jamaican reggae, raggamuffin, and dub influences on their latest Caribe. The new full-length album not only proffers novel sound for the band, but it also marks the first time LPJ has chosen to go bilingual – with most of the tracks switching indiscriminately between Spanish and English. For those not familiar with Locos Por Juana, (because, hey, reggae happens to be one of many categories that they fall into), listeners are immediately intrigued from the start of Caribe just from the genre-bending alone. In fact, guitarist Mark Kondrat coined LPJ's style as “the island swing” – combining elements of traditional African, Caribbean, and Jamaican music with hip hop, rap, funk, rock, jazz, and electronica. The title track of the album alone features components of cumbia, dubstep, rap, house, Afrobeat, rock, Latin American hip hop, and reggaeton... just to name a few! Building on their past Academy nods, Locos Por Juana is on the fast-track of securing that GRAMMY, and Caribe might just be the gem to get them there.
Locos Por Juana is on the fast-track of securing that GRAMMY, and Caribe might just be the gem to get them there.
No matter your heritage, language, or musical preference, you will, without a doubt, enjoy every song on this album. Caribe is 15 tracks of pure positive vibes, making it simply impossible to not get up and move! The perfect example of this is “Mueve, Mueve”, first single off the LP meant to get listeners up and dancing! Even if you were born with two left feet (as the expression goes), LPJ broadcasts “you don't need to know how to dance – just as long as you do it!" Most of the songs on Caribe are fast-paced to transport the listener smack dab in the middle of a Miami Latin dance club, for you don't have to live there to live the lifestyle! For the Spanish-impaired, LPJ makes their tracks so fun that it really doesn't matter if you can't understand the lyrics; you get the gist in the beat. Sandwiched between the energized electronica tracks are sharp contrasts in tempo and timbre: you're vibing a dance track, and then BAM, you're soaking in a slower, smoother (yet just as catchy) experience. For instance, the third track “For the Ladies” is horn-heavy, resembling a big band serenade mixed with modern hip hop. Then comes “The Cure” at track four featuring Bermudian dancehall idol Collie Buddz; let's just say the bubble organ was missing until now. If “The Cure” wasn't enough reggae love on Caribe, the sixth track, “Summertime”, rolls around that's equal parts Bob Marley's “Three Little Birds” and Sublime's “Summertime”... only with an innovative millennial attitude. As the album twists and turns along, the journey concludes with a softer side to Locos Por Juana in “Luna”: an appropriate title for an end track, considering the acoustic (almost flamenco) guitar lands on the listener like a lullaby against the edgy eccentricities of the tracks leading up to it. What an album...
And, it was well worth the wait! Fans of LPJ know that Caribe was supposed to be released in late July, but had to be inexplicably postponed... until now. Caribe finally dropped on October 7th, and is now available for download on all digital outlets. After returning from their summer tour and several festivals along the way (cough, Reggae on the River), Locos Por Juana have yet to announce a fall tour to coincide with their well-awaited release. In the meantime, there are upcoming live shows booked for the band in New York, Philadelphia, and their hometown of Miami. While the rest of the country has to wait to catch LPJ live, one thing is for certain: don't be surprised if you hear the name Locos Por Juana come GRAMMY time this February 2017.
Preview and download Caribe on
- Se Fue La Luz
- For The Ladies
- The Cure
- Para Siempre
- Mueve Mueve
- Dance With Me
- La Murga
- Se Te Ki Te To
- La Policia ReFix
- Una Foto
- Esta Es La Vida
- Tik Tok
Locos Por Juana "The Cure" featuring Collie Buddz
Disclaimer: All views presented in this album review are those of the reviewer and not necessarily those of Top Shelf Reggae.