Sisters Morales. Chica Rock. Music so familiar that you don't know what it is, to quote Charlottesville's Sarah White when trying to describe music which is just that. Music you've heard before, yet you haven't. It is an intriguing concept in a world regurgitating musical styles and phrases like there is no tomorrow, spewing chord progressions and lyrics and guitar licks like machine guns at a rifle range. The chances have to be great that on occasion music is copied, knowingly or otherwise. Musical styles certainly are, genre being the catchword on the entire music industry's lips. Genre. A helpful word. Chica Rock. It's plastered all over the Sisters Morales MySpace page. Hmmmm. Let me think about that.
In the meantime, let us talk Morales. That music so familiar that you don't know what it is? It kicks off their latest CD, Talking to the River. Yep. Just recently heard the phrase and it already haunts me. Sinuous and flowing with a light Latin beat and feel, You're Losing Me To No One is one of those songs you hear in a bar and it lives with you for weeks. Slight reverb on the voice, simple and honest guitar lead, great song. Rocking, pounding beat on the next, Right From the Start, with odd chord progressions which grow on you with each listen. Pop rock up next and an unknowingly borrowed bass line from a Carolyn Arends song, but that doesn't make World Goes Round less worthy. It's a great track with instrumental jam at the end which just plain rocks. They throw in a couple of Latino songs, La Canoera and La Macura and whereas I am not a big fan of the genre, maybe I am. At least as interpreted by the Sisters (and band).
Something was eating at me from note one, though. It was something I could not put my finger on. At first, I thought it was the "music so familiar" thing, but it just wouldn't come clear. Until maybe the tenth time through. If you haven't heard Sarah Borges and the Broken Singles' Diamonds in the Dark album, you would have missed it too, but three of the best rock tracks are straight out of Borges' world. It's Time, I Won't Stand Still and Say Goodbye could have easily fit on that album, the sense of pop melody and upfront guitar (along with eerie Borges-like voice) will make Borges fans (and if you're not, you really should at least check her out) shake their heads. It is great stuff. And it plain rocks.
Tell you what. The Sisters Morales rock and when they're not rocking, they are so good you don't care. Chica Rock. I like it so much that I checked out a few of their vids on YouTube and couldn't believe it. They're even better live. Yeah. I can dig it. Chica Rock. Yeah.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Copyright 2009, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
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