Of course Energipsy will be compared endlessly to a band such as Gipsy Kings, but they have their own particular slant to this flamenco style, namely with a bit more rumba and hip-gyrating tempos. This is particularly heard on the lovely opening "Chica Bem," which leader Francesco Grant presides over nicely, as well as on the mid-tempo groove oozing through "Mi Vida." A tad tamer is the melodic and softer "Los Contreras," that doesn't quite pack the same oomph or punch as its predecessor. Other musicians that come to mind are Jesse Cook on the flamenco-propelled "Soy Liberal" featuring some fine playing, while "Magdalena" has a certain Los Lobos flair to it. When the band go strictly with instrumentals like "Joselito," they are able to get their music and message across far easier than on some of the vocal-led numbers such as the rather garish cover of "Long Train Runnin'." One instrumental that comes off as being too light has to be "Gipsea" which, although pretty in parts, lacks any sort of bite or energy despite the meticulous guitar solos. This energy comes in droves during the pleasing toe-tapper and hip-shaking "Yo Me Voy." A different approach comes during "Ahora Tu" as a bolero-influenced method makes for another entertaining yet low-key song. Perhaps the biggest problem with the album is how Energipsy seem to travel down the same road too often, especially on the indifferent vocal effort of "Tamborea" with its synthesized accents. Thankfully they atone for this with an almost Spaghetti Western hue with the lovely and engaging "Mauresque." However, the light Muzak that dominates "La Rueda de la Vida" reaches a new low on the record. Although very good in some spots, others should have been left off the album entirely. ~ Jason MacNeil
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