Here we are, folks… just days away from saying good bye to 2018. And yet, the year won’t go away without first offering a few more musical gems to you. Below you’ll find a list of tropical albums and singles that will be perfect for your New Year’s parties. Check them out and download them just in time for your final 2018 soirees!
Manny Soundz – DE TODO UN POCO
Dominican artist Manny Soundz presents his third production, entitled DE TODO UN POCO [A bit of everything], in which he gathers some of his most popular, already known songs with a few new releases. His newest single, “Adivino,” is part of the album. “Adivino” is a Salsa that features Urban sounds, and it is also presented as a “club mix.” Along with several Salsa songs, including the tropical version of Alejandro Fernandez’ “Yo Naci Para Amarte” [I was born to love you], (one of our favorites), the album offers a bit of trap, merengue, and bachata. A song in English, “My Cherie Amour,” is also quite lovely. You can listen and purchase DE TODO UN POCO on Amazon.com.
If you listen carefully you’ll notice that Manny keeps on calling himself “el bonitillo” in the lyrics. That would translate to something like “the cutie pie.” So now we’re curious, but the CD cover has him facing away from us! So I think we’re going to need a better picture in the future, Manny!
Dieguito Valdes – LATIMBASS
Dieguito Valdes is originally from Havana, Cuba, and has lived in Colombia since 1997. LATIMBASS is his second production, a mix of Timba and Latin Jazz that is good both for listening and on the dance floor. The album presents seven songs, all of them written and arranged by Valdes. The music is a platform for his favorite instruments – the cello and the bass. Listen, for example, to “Confusion,” where he does a stupendous solo on the bass. We also recommend “Nito Benito,” a song with a flair of hip hop and the participation of rapper Chichi Ortiz. We think you’ll enjoy the energetic Salsa-Timba entitled “Son de Mi Tierra,” which will probably be delightful on the dance floor. Listen and purchase LATIMBASS on Amazon.com.
Monsieur Perine – ENCANTO TROPICAL
Monsieur Perine received three nominations to this year’s Latin Grammy for ENCANTO TROPICAL, an album that is full of lively music and a variety of Latin rhythms. Here you’ll hear the sounds of the Andes, Afro-Cuban drums, cumbia, and much more. It’s hard to listen to these songs without moving, but we especially like the cumbia entitled “La Tregua,” and “Me Vas a Hacer Falta,” a lovely bolero with a fabulous rhythm. Listen and purchase ENCANTO TROPICAL on Amazon.com.
Kevin Davis and Ban Caribe – PARTY ON DOWN
PARTY ON DOWN is Salsa and a little cha-cha, in English, arranged by Kevin Davis. This is his sixth album, this time adding the steel pan into the arrangements for a unique sound that will certainly make you feel in the Caribbean, particularly in Trinidad y Tobago. You can listen to short clips of (most of) the tracks on CDBaby.com.
Compota de Manana – ALTERNATIMBA
Compota de Manana is a new group out of Barcelona composed by Cuban and Spanish musicians and led by percussionist and vocalist Erik Castillo. ALTERNATIMBA is their first album, and if you like Timba, you’re going to love it. Most of this release is full of music perfect for the dance floor. You must try, for example, “Malasombra” and “Hace Tiempo.” The last three songs, which are more for listening than for dancing, are just as exciting. Consider, for example, “La Suerte,” a song that mixes traditional Cuban music with classical, inserting the sweet sounds of a chelo. You can listen and purchase ALTERNATIMBA on Amazon.com.
Okan – LABERINTO
With the exception of “1000 Palabras,” which merges flamenco and Latin Jazz and, we think, would feel really nice on the dance floor, LABERINTO is mostly a listening album. It is the work of Cuban artists Magdelys Savigne (on percussion) and Elizabeth Rodriguez (on violin), and it offers a fusion between traditional Cuban rumba and classical, jazz, and world music. The result is stupendous; definitely the type of music you’ll want to listen to while spending time with a loved one, as the piano remains an important feature throughout. We’ve listened to this album time and again so far, and we think you’re going to love it. Purchase this music on CDBaby.com.
Alejo Borrero – MIS SENTIMIENTOS
If you like bolero, you’re in for a treat. Colombian Alejo Borrero presents his debut album, MIS SENTIMIENTOS [My Feelings], a tribute to boleros that were originally written by the likes of Armando Manzanero, Ernesto Lecuona, Bobby Capo, and more. Borrero, whose day job is being a medical surgeon, gathered a top tier group of Colombian musicians to help him with this project. Along with boleros, you’ll hear some cha-chas, a danzon, and the priceless son “Olvido,” by Miguel Matamoros. Listen and purchase this album on Amazon.com.
Nolose – AMANECER
The Swizz group Nolose released AMANECER [Sunrise] with three original songs arranged by pianist Matthieu Trovato. AMANECER is the group’s sixth recording. We think you’ll love “Sera Muy Tarde” [It Will Be Too Late], a timba that should be fire on the dance floor. Listen and purchase on Amazon.com.
Jaime Andres – “Me Da Lo Mismo”
The title of this single translates into something like “It’s all the same to me.” Colombian-born singer/songwriter Jaime Andres collaborated with Cuban arranger Agustin Someillan in this song that is catchy and energetic. Jaime Andres was born in Cali but now lives in New York, where he has had the opportunity to perform with great Salsa artists, including Jose Mangual Jr. We think you’ll enjoy dancing to this song. Listen and purchase it on CDBaby.com.
Pipo Rodriguez – “Matador” y “Canalla”
Do you like cumbia? Pipo Rodriguez turned the Los Fabulosos Cadillacs’ famous Spanish Rock song “Matador” into a danceable tune that you’ll love on the dance floor. You may have known Pipo as Ismael Rodriguez while he was part of Los Angeles Azules, but now he is working solo, and “Matador” is his second single. Along with “La Rempujadera,” it will be part of Pipo’s upcoming album, produced by Fonovisa. Listen and purchase the song on Amazon.com.
His third single, still building up to the release of his album, is “Canalla,” a song that speaks about an unfaithful woman. The video for this song was recorded in a ranch, where a woman uses her charms to entice one of the workers. “Canalla” is also available on Amazon.com.
New Swing Sextet –“Carmela”
This is quite the funny song about a gossiper in the neighborhood named Carmela, who likes to meddle in everyone’s business so much that it is expected that, upon her death, two caskets will be needed – one for her body, and one for her tongue alone! Orlando Ortiz is the vocalist. “Carmela” is the first song out of the New Swing Sextet’s upcoming album, entitled LO QUE TE TRAIGO. Already a trademark for this band, “Carmela” is special because of the sounds of the vibes in the mix. Find the song on Spotify and iTunes.
Samuel Urbano – “La Morena” and “Tu Me Gustas”
Songs that you’ll enjoy on the dance floor, “La Morena” and “Tu Me Gustas” are part of Venezuelan Samuel Urbano’s first album (currently in the works). Now living in Barcelona, Spain, Urbano’s music is catalogued as a bit world and a bit Caribbean, with a Venezuelan flair that is absolutely catchy and enjoyable. Listen and purchase “La Morena” here and “Tu Me Gustas” here.
Manolo Mairena – “Pa’ Un Venenoso”
Costa Rican Manolo Mairena released this cool son montuno (which will feel perfect on the dance floor to your cha-cha step). Dedicated to all the “venenosos” [poisonous ones] in the world, it mentions Donald Trump by name (oooops!) “Truth doesn’t sin but it’s uncomfortable,” goes the song. It’s a fun one that you can listen and purchase on Amazon.com.
Michael Stuart – “Me Enamore”
Still celebrating his 20 years of musical career, Puerto Rican Michael Stuart just released “Me Enamore” [I Fell in Love]. A song that celebrates love, it talks about a heart that happily and consciously decides to beat for someone else. It is an upbeat Salsa, presented also as a tropical urban remix. Check it out on Amazon.com.
2018 was a generous year as far as tropical music is concerned. As we have said many times before, we are fortunate to have so many talented artists providing a steady influx of new and delightful music. We hope that we have helped fill up your playlists with fabulous music this year, and you better believe that we plan to do so as well in 2019.
It is now time to say good bye to 2018 and to welcome the New Year the way we know how to do it best – by twirling on a dance floor! May all of the great music listed above help you do it. Happy holidays to all of you dancers. “See you” again next year!