Review - Jolgorio

Artist: Peru Negro

Although the title of this disc supposedly translates as "a state of celebratory frenzy," in reality, the songs here are all suffused with a deep melancholy that's at odds with their overt liveliness. Even the opening track, an uptempo invitation to ecstatic musicality called "Como Cantan, Como Bailan Los Negros," never quite reaches the free-wheeling heights it clearly aspires to. Maybe the longevity behind Peru Negro -- the group has been performing for more than three decades and, accordingly, has seen more than its share of Peruvian strife -- ensures the world-weariness omnipresent on the disc, but whatever the source of woe, the emotional depth of these songs is resonant and engaging.

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