[31 August 2009]
The U.S.-based Peruvian salsa singer Cecilia Noël addresses the listener with the confidence of a successful life coach telling you that you too can have the mansion in the Bahamas and the television screen the size of a garage door if you just do what she says. In this case, she wants you to dance. “Salsa!,” she shouts in triumph. “Mambo!” Noël’s band twitches galvanically through “Pronto Salsa” and slides to a low cruise for “Bolero De Salon”. Piano strides into “Everybody’s Mambo”, the songs varying in tempo and style from one to the other but always calculated to please, or at least to please anyone who likes his or her music in calibrated, gleeful Cuban blasts. The calibration here is a little too exact, leaving you to wish she had even more eccentricity—something like the geek fandom that made last year’s Bio Ritmo’s Bionico album so interesting. The audience this is aimed at shouldn’t mind. It asks for dancing, and gives them something to dance to.