September 11, 2011

Rene Lopez | E.L.S.

ARTIST:  Rene Lopez 
LABEL:  Nat Geo Music
REVIEW:  Rene Lopez is a New York born-and-based singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist; this is his third solo album. Lopez’s father was a stalwart of the 1970’s salsa scene, Rene fronted the rock band The Authority in the 90’s, he continues to be in demand as a drummer, and he cites Prince as the artist who has most influenced him.  All these factors comes together on this wonderfully breezy album that combines old-fashioned boogaloo and soul, current hip hop and electronica, and the kind of pop music craftsmanship that harkens back to the Brill Building era.  Lopez is a jack of all trades -- he plays a dozen different instruments here, wrote or co-wrote all the songs, and takes all the lead vocals.  But his ace in the hole, as with his man Prince, is his ability to write catchy hooks (in a fair world, track 8 would be a multi-platinum hit single) and clever, off-the-wall lyrics (try 3 and 11).  On track 2 he says “Took me 20 years to finally find my flow” (and he shows it off best on 10) -- these days it’s nearly impossible to become a 42-year-old overnight sensation, but E.L.S. may do so for Rene Lopez.  Definitely one of the most fun albums of the year.
TOP TRACKS:    3    8    10    11
ALSO RECOMMENDED:    1    2    4    5    6    7    9

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