Thursday, April 13, 2017

Lobo-The Caribbean Disco Show Album (1981)


Disco music—something else that has been missing from my usual listening lineup. This next treat was an indirect recommendation of sorts; it was mentioned in a bit of correspondence, then my natural curiosity took one step further and investigated the music. The primary attraction here out of the seven tracks is surely the 20+ minute disco medley that is the opening title track itself. Featured within this monster megamix are a slew of familiar Caribbean-flavored tunes, the most recognized one being the popular Harry Belafonte classic, "Day-O (The Banana Boat Song)". In fact, Lobo performs "Day-O" in a series of at least three separate snippets scattered throughout the megamix, the pitch of the chords being raised up each time. The other song I recognized was "Coconut Woman", which I surely first heard by one of those bubblegum Eurodance artists (I want to say it was Dr. Bombay?) not too long ago. Love that part where the backup vocalists chant 'co-co-nut!' in response to everything good Lobo says about the woman. The "Angelina" song is a fun part of the medley, too; wish it could've been a complete standalone track, much like his covers of "Day-O" and "Coconut Woman". Then about midway through, marked by the cool calypso instrumental and the blaring trumpets, "The Caribbean Disco Show" becomes just a disco groove altogether and something for the instrumental music lovers like me to sit back and enjoy. The calypso celebration makes a comeback on the happy feel-gooder simply and appropriately called "Calypso Sound". I always like these kinds of Caribbean-flavored sing-along tunes that make me feel like dancing or, at the very least, make me feel like moving a little something to the rhythm. One tune in particular that sparked interest is the very ethnic track entitled "Mangwene Mpulele". I'm unsure of the language, but me thinks the song has tribal African influences, and I'm sure it has a special meaning. Lobo definitely has the right voice for delivering the song here that shines the most: "I Do Love You". It's a simple song that instantly charms because of the opening whistle melody and that dreamy, quiet storm radio glow that's so reminiscent of those starry, soulful love songs from the 80's. It's that 'doo-doo-doo, doo-doo-doo' of backup singers and the sexy, jazzed-up saxophone during the instrumental break that made me fall in love with it! I even liked the added touch with the slowed-down ending, which features a distinctive organ-led 'wedding chapel' arrangement. My only beef is that "I Do Love You" concluded much sooner than I liked—a few minutes shy of the four-minute mark—but it's beef that I can swallow easily when this "Caribbean Disco Show Album" as a whole gave me sufficient entertainment value:

1. The Caribbean Disco Show
2. Mangwene Mpulele
3. I Do Love You
4. Calypso Sound
5. Bally Mena
6. Sad Days
7. If I Say

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