October 25, 2002

MACUILXOCHITL: “Five Flower”, The Aztec god of music and dance.

Music Reviews and Updates:

By Francisco H. Ciriza

Mexico’s mighty Rock en Español outfit, Jaguares, continues to establish itself as one of music’s all-time greatest groups, by releasing its fourth album this past Tuesday, “El Primer Instinto.” The band, led by singer, songwriter, sage, Saul Hernández has literally recorded the very definition of a truly acoustic or “unplugged” album.

Recorded this past August in Los Angeles in fifteen days due to their own assertiveness, according to both Hernandez and drummer and long-time friend, collaborator, bandmate, Alfonso André. The pair agreed the swiftness was due to the band’s own demands upon itself and moreso the energy and passion it had for this project.

The 17-song disc’s is cohesiveness and comprehensive set of interpretations of many of Hernandez’s best and most popular work with Jaguares and its predecessor, Caifanes. Also included are two new and previously unreleased tracks and one cover.

The vocals are simple and “dry, very dry...” according to Hernández. Their are no backing vocals. “Matenme” dating back the band’s 80’s origins is one of many highlights. This version features Beck’s father, Dave Campbell’s, string arrangement and bringing out the song’s positive spiritual qualities.

Guitars folded in each other and flowing over one another introduce the classic “No Dejes Que” causing one to revisit “Here Comes the Sun” somehow while actually searching for that proverbial “sun” and meanwhile escaping the ultimate evil.

“El Primer Instinto” keeps an all-acoustic format and adds true, new interpretations of mostly previously recorded material. The band and its fans and supporters themselves decided which tunes to re-discover and a handful of famous folks lend a hand including the much respected David Hidalgo of Los Lobos, a band Hernández and the rest of Jaguares think the world of. This record is a reflection of genious, of heart, soul, and mind and Jaguares is a reflection of what good music should always be.

Rating ***** (five out of five stars)

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