Musician - 2/93, p.92
"...You don't need any Spanish to appreciate the lustre of his melodies, or the ingenuity of arrangements...Blades' lyrics possess enough power and poetry to dazzle any listener..."
Personnel: Ruben Blades (vocals, acoustic guitar); Papo Gely (Puerto Rican cuatro); Reinaldo Jorge (trombone); Oscar Hernandez (piano); Arturo Ortiz (synthesizer); Mike Vinas (bass); Robbie Armeen (drums); Ralph Irizarry (timbales); George Gonzales (bongos, maracas); Eddie Montalvo (congas); Porfirio Fernandez (tambora, guiro, tumbadora); Sammy Figueroa (percussion).
Recorded at Power Station, New York from March to April 1992.
All lyrics printed in Spanish and English except "Baby's In Black" (English only).
Personnel: Rub‚n Blades (vocals, acoustic guitar, background vocals); Porfirio Fern ndez (tamboura, guiro); Renaldo Jorge (trombone); Hernandez, Oscar Hernandez (piano); Arturo Ortiz (synthesizer); Robby Ameen (drums); Eddy Montalvo (congas); George Gonzalez (bongos); Ralph Irizarry (timbales); Sammy Figueroa (percussion); Tito Allen (background vocals).
Audio Mixer: Jon Fausty.
Recording information: Power Station, NY (03/1992-04/1992).
Photographer: Ricardo Betancourt.
Arrangers: Oscar Hernandez; Rub‚n Blades; Arturo Ortiz.
As Ruben Blades' last album with Son Del Solar, AMOR Y CONTROL makes for a tasty end to an era with 12 poignant cuts of exceptional songwriting and stylistic variety. With loads of heart and conscience, the Panamanian singer/songwriter further explores myths of America through the names, faces and lives of its citizens. Indeed, while the melodies and rhythms here are satisfying on their own, Ruben's lyrics are the cornerstone of his music and thankfully are included in the package in Spanish.
"El Apagon" delves into merengue territory as Ruben spins a deliciously clever tale of an electrical blackout and its reverberation through a fictional Latin American city's events. "Naturaleza Muerta" looks south to Brazil for a dose of carnival samba as the band sings out on the plight of rainforests. Ruben displays his masterful way with a narrative curveball and a winning chorus on the aching perennial favorite, "Adan Garcia." "Piensa En Mi" ("Think of Me") is an iced tea romance with a twist of lemon, going for a lush and jazzy salsa arrangement of horns and synth strings. The Lennon-McCartney chestnut "Baby's in Black" gets a merry treatment a la Ruben with clave, acoustic guitars and some spirited group harmony.