Cuban-born and 24 years old, Arocena performs on this outstanding album with the seasoned vocal of – imagine any – illustrious Soul/Latin songstress. Her singing is powerfully sonorous, and the merging of Cuban/Latin rhythms with jazz and funk make for the quintessence of Cubaphonia, a perfect neologism for this memorable music.
Opener Eleggua is jazz and choir and Cuban and operatic, immediately demonstrating the pulsating range she can and does perform, whereas third Lo Que Fue is more Latin as a whole [piano beats and rhythm] with some sublime harmonising to complement.
Sixth Mambo Na' Mà is full of funk and jazz, horns scatting to the scatting vocals, a glorious conversation full of spunk and sass, beautifully performed. This is superb, a clarinet joining in the jibes. Next Cómo is a sweet soul ballad, again beautiful and again demonstrating that range; the acoustic Latin guitar of eighth Todo Por Amor provides a further balladic platform for Arconea’s gorgeous singing. Tenth It's Not Gonna Be Forever is brilliant in its bass and piano interplay, the sax and horn interplay, and the vocal interplay - laughing out loud included. If you don't move to the groove you are comatose.
The album closes on Yambu Improvisado, a percussive Latin gem swelled with harmony, Arocena towering vocally over the mesmerising rhythms. An excellent end to an excellent album.