Photo: Russ Hewitt
Released this year, Russ Hewitt’s Latin American influenced album, Alma Vieja, or “old soul” in English, made my old soul want to crumble- and not in a good way.
As much as I appreciate culturally influenced works, this anything but bearable album that mixes the sounds of Rhumba with Flamenco and Jazz is not even close to becoming a hit. There are several things I would rather listen to: elevator music, my mother ranting about laundry to do, and a monkey giving birth.
The album is just too clean, too processed. It has an over produced, over edited quality that I cannot find any value in. Unfortunately, I have no idea what the artist was trying to do.
The songs do not speak to me like I think an album should. The songs are very individualistic and I cannot find any theme intertwined in the songs other than the fact that the music is Latin influenced.
Most of the songs remind me of preset jazz ringtones you would find on any standard low-grade cellphone. I expected so much more when listening to this album. Also, have you ever tried to learn an instrument and in the instructional booklets was a CD to play along with? This album sounds exactly like one of those CDs.
If you are entirely curious, give the album a shot. However, I could not stand the elementary feel of the music. Yeah, the composition sounds fine and the guitar skill is amazing, but it’s not music that I can grasp. It could easily be in the background of any department store while the customers look at other CDs to buy.