There is an essence of allure that exudes from the content of “Music People”, the new 11 track album by Emilio Crixell & Border Soul. The music is jubilant, with a mesmerizing melody that entices the listener into a sensation of musical ecstasy. We open with “A Face in the Crowd” featuring soulful songstress Leeann Atherton, immediately it induces a entrancing atmosphere to set the mood, a seductive horn blowing ambience decorated in a sensual percussive mysticism. And just as the music has us succumbing to its will, when we give up all restrain and let our senses sink deeper and deeper into the trance, all of its arousing teases reach their purpose. It is all a build up into one of the album’s instrumental highlights, “It’s Never the Same…and Never Ending”.
This is Emilio Crixell & Border Soul and his band exploring all of the possibilities within musical hypnotism. The music flourishes with groove, delicate in nature yet it induces an irresistible magnetism delivered by Emilio’s guitar. As we progress further into “Music People”, we find that it is very versatile within its mood, containing moments of both delicacy and aggressiveness.
The music has a very lively texture, amalgamating the rhythmic grooves of traditional Latin music and soul with the enthusiasm for instrumental improvisations that are found in Jazz. “Live in This World Together” marks the beginning of the more elevated side of the album, which continues with the mid-tempo “She Moves You” and the title track, “Music People”.
Emilio Crixell on guitar and vocals, Charlie Harrison on bass, Albert Besteiro on guitar, Carlo Tamayo on drums, Joe Pino on congas and Mike Ramírez on saxophone, with additional musicians: Santiago Castillo on diatonic accordion and Iram Reyes on trumpet display instrumental eruptions of passionate dexterity all over the place.
The recording, as a whole, is a truly impressive album because it blends many different musical genres. The intensity of rock, the instrumental passages of Jazz, the melodious dancing elements of Salsa, and even the emotional surrealism of Soul- It is all coalesced with such confidence and precision that even with all of the constant genre-hopping, the album’s transitions all manage to fluctuate so naturally. Everything comes to a brilliant head on “Look up at the Sky” and “The Lie”, which are probably the best tracks on the album, in my view.
Frequently, this record showcases Emilio Crixell doing exactly what he does best, laying down a groovy guitar line that drives the melody forward. But what is truly remarkable though is how well-crafted this album is all-round. Each member exerts every ounce of influence they have and it all works magically together to create a truly captivating and immensely satisfying experience.
In some way the “Music People” album connects us with the expression of love across 20th century songwriting, and performing – a sentiment that often seems to have vanished. But as the album’s selections show, that feeling has always been universal.