Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

Casa de la Trova [Detour, 1999]
Even when the musicians have a drop taken, there's nothing bacchanalian about this survey of the poetic, composed Cuban folk songs it designates trova. Their clave subsumed in guitars and the occasional chamber orchestra, they're formal, precise, intensely romantic, old-fashioned, crotchety. All the singers are stylists, and sticklers for harmonic detail, and though only the seventyish sisters Faez, tart as grandaunts and weird as widows in a haunted house, command one-of-a-kind deliveries, the vocal variety keeps you alert. Call it the Buenas Vozes Hearts Club Band and hire a film crew. A-