I had already posted my Ten best CDs for 2007 when the CD I am going to review here was released. What a pity that it was too late for to include it! I am referring to the latest release by the famous group Nu Look and its maestro Ary Larivière..
What a beauty! I will not hesitate to go out on a limb and say that this is probably the best CD yet coming from Nu Look. The CD entitled “Abò” (On board!) is, to put it simply, excellent. It is the kind that you will never get tired of listening to it. Indeed, Nu Look embarks us on a wonderful journey through ten excellent tunes. Arly Larivière outdid himself on this album, having written eight of the ten songs.
From the first note of the first song, you know you are in for a special treat. The song starts on the wonderful salsa beat and singer Gazzman Pier, with his unmistakable voice, immediately puts us in the mood and leads us to the transition to a beautifully played konpa. The brass section sounds so full and you would not think that this powerful sound comes from just a trombone and a trumpet. That is what solid harmony will do for you.
Listen to the harmony in tune No. 2 “Is it real”. The Hawaiian sound, the mute sound of the brass section, the choir, the whole rhythmic section, the melody, everything falls right into place, like the pieces of a puzzle.
Apart from the excellent arrangements on this CD, another strong point is the writing talent of Maestro Arly Larivière, undoubtedly the driving force for years behind the band. He is such a thoughtful writer and the lyrics o this CD amply shows it. In fact, that is also the case on previous CDs by Nu Look: Arly Larivière,( along with Richie from Zenglen) is among the best konpa lyricists these days, at least in my humble opinion. You will appreciate for example the thoughtfulness and the depth of lyrics in Tunes No. 5 “Illusion”, No. 4 “Competition”, No. 8 “Notre Histoire”, No. 10 “Antistress”. He deals with serious themes relating to life, human behavior, and love. Even when he deals with lighter themes like in tune No. 9 “Bon Macho”, the lyrics are not vain. In short, the guy can write! Singer Gazzman Pier also does a wonderful job with lyrics he wrote for Tune No. 7 “Legacy”.
This CD is a very complete one, in the sense that the music is wonderful, the arrangements are just excellent, the lyrics are the best, and the mixing is excellent. All 10 songs extremely entertaining! I cannot even tell you which one is my favorite!
One of my criticisms of Konpa groups in general is that not enough care is given to the lyrics by the writers. In fact some sound pretty pathetic. Well folks, that is certainly not the case with this well-rounded CD, one that absolutely should be featured prominently on your music shelf. Believe me, it is a treat, a real treat!
Help fight Haitian CD piracy, it is bad for everyone
Serge Bellegarde for Windows on Haiti, March 2008