Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Juan Carlos Formell

  • Songs From a Little Blue House [Wicklow, 1999] B-

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Consumer Guide Reviews:

Songs From a Little Blue House [Wicklow, 1999]
I knew he was the son of Los Van Van's big man first time I played his blandly pretty folk-jazz and chalked its bloodlessness to the suburban New Age crap first harbingered when Kenny Rankin discovered chromatic chords in Marin County 30 years ago. Not until later did I read that the younger Formell had "literally re-defined the concept of Cuban music," only the Commies wouldn't let him so he went into exile, only then he suffered "rejection" "in some communities here in America too." Self-pity being folk music's universal solvent, my own suspicion is that said communities, if they exist at all, didn't like his clave. Really, JC--I don't care whether you like Castro. I'm a major El Duque fan. I just think you're a wimp. B-