This second album of the San Francisco son band Pellejo Seco is a delightful wakeup call that uses the traditional Cuban son genre to express stories and emotions from yesterday and today. Most of the material is written by its bandleader Iván Camblor and features the voices of lead singers Fito Reinoso and Osvaldo Carvajal, who deliver the songs with enthusiasm and a raw, natural talent.
The title track (Despierta) is an uptempo guaracha that has Fito batting first on vocals. He invites all to dance when he states: "Vamos a curar tu sufrimiento" (We are going to cure your suffering). The trumpet of Mario "Mayito" Silva is a pleasure to hear (based on its clear melodic tone), and this also applies to Iván's Cuban tres guitar playing, both of whom inject the group's sound an authentic conjunto flavor. The song also features Chuchito Valdés, who delivers tough athletic piano playing on three other selections.
I would be remiss if I did not mention...