Vida, the new CD by Adonis Puentes is a wonderful introduction into the world of Cuban music. Adonis, one half of the The Puentes Brothers singing team, gained fame in his adopted homeland of Canada along with his brother Alexis. In 2001 the duo released their debut recording Morumba Cubans that went on to be nominated for a Juno, the Canadian version of a Grammy, as well as winning an Indie award for Best World Beat Independent Album of the year. Despite these achievements the brothers decided to pursue separate recording projects for a time, and the end result of that separation for Adonis is Vida. Vida translates into Life in English and the songs on this recording show a depth and range of talents far beyond this young performers age.
Nearly half of the songs on this recording were written by Adonis brother Alexis, who also served as his producer as well as providing background vocals, and playing bass and guitar.The end result is a much more personal disk, the songs have a resonance of emotion that may have escaped another producer less familiar with his artist. Alexis is able to anticipate his brothers vocal range and fit the material to the singer with ease.
"Comerciante" the opening track, has a strong Cuban rhythm that is at once both captivating and inviting. The pulsating beat of the percussion section lead by Puentes , along with the soaring trumpet of Alexis Baro accents Puentes strong vocals. "Con Las Hadas" also features the trumpet playing of Alexis Baro and is offset by the chorus of background vocalists who add a rich texture to the number. "Que Miras" really gives Adonis a chance to show off his vocal range and he takes full opportunity to do so with great results.
"Has Algo" is a up tempo number that is done to perfection and once again displays the tight and spirited playing of these musicians. The surprise here is the introduction of a hip hop element in the form of Kia Kadiri, now this may sound a little off base but the end result is a perfect match of different styles that compliment each other beautifully.
The place where Adonis shines the most is in the slower ballads that give him a chance to display his vocal abilities to their finest, the kind that draw you in and make you feel the songs as well as hear them. One of the better numbers is "Tu y Yo". On this song the playing is kept to minimum and Puentes soars and glides effortlessly over the material. "Mi Flor" and "El Tim Marin" and also fine examples of the kind of singing Cuban performers are renown for, heartfelt and emotional and delivered with a simple elegance. Nobody does it better than Adonis Puentes. Vida closes out with "Solo Tu" (Mercers Mi Amour) another uplifting dance number that should be played loud and often, Vida is not only a wonderful introduction to Cuban music, but to a singer, songwriter, and apercussionist with a long career ahead of him.