by Ferell Aubre
Since Celina Gonzalez, no singer has been hailed the ‘Queen of Cuban music’. She’s a follower of the Afro-Cuban Santería faith, and her best material echoes the African-influenced religious chanting she has known since childhood.
All indicators point to Dayme becoming Cuba’s finest export. An astonishing combination of a powerful voice and her deep knowledge of music allows her to go from jazz to rumba with absolute ease. This album is her best so far, and shows the leaps and bounds already this young performer is making from recording to recording, as she travels through the world of Cuban genres, owning each one of them. A wonderful mix of English and Spanish (Castilian) tracks are a foot, and they work well nicely placed alongside each other. From her rendition of “Manteca” and “Mambo Na’ Ma” to the beautiful bolero “Todo por Amor,” Dayme is on top of her game, and this album simply put; work! And works wonderfully. It’s a fantastic step up in the continuing evolution of her discography. Excellent production, also lends to the impact of this offering. Tight percussion, luxurious string arrangements and hard hitting brass, make this an exciting and contemporary Afro-Latin sound that is infectious.
At 22, Daymé Arocena is well on her way to wowing the globe, and I cannot wait to see it happen.