Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Subterrestrial Miami: When “Hola” Meets “Hi”

Overall Rating: **** ½ stars out of 5

In a world filled with solo artists and bands with good looking front men or front women, we seem to forget about the power of two. Musical duos are almost an ancient reminder of bands from the last century. The popularity of couple bands has also greatly diminished, though in the 60's and 70's groups like The Carpenters, Sony & Cher and Captain and Tennille got mainstream attention.

Despite the passing of time, some still pop up here and there, reminding us what the power of two and the power of love can create. Using compositions inspired by their experiences and passions, a duo in love can use song to give listeners the hope of long-lasting romance. It’s a niche that few bands have today, even despite the number of people who have a soft spot for hearing two lovebirds sing about their love for one another.
Hola Hi has tapped into that niche. The band was formed once upon a time, when Louisiana native Paul Curtis and Dominican-born Angelina de los Rosarios fell in love. The two met while attending Louisiana State University and married soon after. Both were musicians prior to meeting, so they jumped at the opportunity to create music together and share their love.

Their self-titled debut album is made up of a well-executed body of songs. The lyrics speak about the struggles of not being next to the one you love, feeling the happiness of love, and the struggles that most couples go through. The music fuses a variety of genres - Spanish rock, Dominican bachata, country rock and power ballads. Their band name skillfully implies what can happen when the best of both worlds collide.

Songs like “Nunca Mas Terminaran” channel classic rock elements in the first few seconds of the opening verse. Then it infuses bachata instruments, creating an interesting and effective transition into the chorus. The vocals in the chorus made me recall Shakira’s earlier work in her album 'Pies Descalzos.'

The song 'Si Estuvieras Aqui' combines much different elements - bluegrass and country rock fusion. Organ is also incorporated, and the chorus is poppy and catchy.

Despite the mixture of genres, Hola Hi still manages to produce a well-done and consistent album.

Next Live Show:
Hola Hi, Minimal, & Dear Darling
Date: Thursday, April 4th, 2013
Time: 10pm
Venue: Pax Miami - 337 Southwest 8th Street, Miami, FL 33131
Price: $10
Website: http://www.holahi.net

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