Review Summary: The ultimate blend of flamenco and rock music. A sonic triumph never to be repeated in Spanish pop music history, still sounds groundbreaking almost 40 years on.
Triana, a band hailing from the Sevilla neighborhood that carries the same name, is still observed today as the most innovative and influential rock band in Spanish pop music history. It was assembled in 1974 by Jes├║s de la Rosa (the voice and keyboard , and the main responsible for Triana's atmospheric sound), Eduardo Rodr├*guez Roadway (Spanish guitar) and Tele (drums), sometimes featuring guests on bass or electric guitar.
Their sound is built around flamenco poetry, singing, beats and techniques mixed with complex song structures and atmospheric electronic sounds crafted to carry the listeners to a dream land of hot breeze and delicately dark passion. One of the greatest fusions of folk music and rock you'll ever listen to.
Their main influence outside flamenco may be King Crimson
, but their personal blend of sound also recalled me of Emerson, Lake & Palmer
, Led Zeppelin
and Deep Purple
It's a great responsibility to be the first to review their first (and best) album, but anyway, here we go.
First of all, the production in this album is great: De la Rosa andalusian accent will flow like water from your speakers, backed with the virtuoso guitar of Roadway and the soft, personal drumming of Tele, everything within a dense and delicate atmosphere crafted by keyboards.
The record opener, "Abre la Puerta", begins with a moving guitar and piano introduction which builds up to give way to De la Rosa's passionate singing. Lyrics fit the year they were written: the singer invites a girl to discover love and freedom at his side, something that could be done for the first time in 40 years in Spain with the weakening of Franco's dictatorship. This song features one of the greatest instrumental breaks I've ever listened to, witha powerful hard rock electric guitar solo near the end.
The second song, "Luminosa Ma├▒ana", is a psychedelic ballad about a man who loses himself and wanders, hopeless, to find the hidden truth. Angst, suffering and light to fill the greatest track in this album.
"Recuerdos de una Noche" keeps offering us Triana's trademark dark ambiance. The droning keyboards and bass play the hot beat with conviction, while De la Rosa sings about desperate love.
In "S├ę de un lugar" the electric guitar and bass find a more prominent place, helping to create the sonic image of the "locus amoenus" sung by De la Rosa.
"Di├ílogo" is another soft ballad that narrates the musings of a confused man that discusses his love with the moon. This song lacks the bombast present in the rest of the album: soft keyboards and guitar being the main sonic landscaping agents.
"En el Lago". Legend says it was inspired by a LSD experience. The overall psychedelic character of the album seems to support the hypothesis.
The closing track, "Todo es de Color", is a simple laid-back piece about hot spring days in the rural Andaluc├*a.
When the record stops, the dream ends, leaving you exhausted. That's the feeling you get when the sheer power of an artistic masterpiece like this hits you.