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Album Review

Valencia, Cant D’estil – Singing Contests [coll] – [Ocora | Radio France]

ArtCrimes   3/28/2007   CD, International

It???s ???American Idol??? as they do it in Valencia, Spain…competitive singing, done in the streets, with small backing groups. You can be overweight and plus-50 and still have a chance to win big time, as long as you can warble like a Valencian thrush. Men (Xiquet del Carme is a dude) and women both compete, and some tracks here are duets. The repertoire is limited to about 6 different backing themes (note the repetition of song titles), but the singing is mostly improvised, with lyrics made up by each performer about subjects ranging from what their nickname is, or how awful the parking is in Valencia, or ???let???s parteeeee???. The singing style is very florid and demanding, and there???s some jaw dropping moments here. The backing group, using guitar strums and brass instruments, hangs on tight, as each singer determines when the chords should change and when the song is over. (Track #13 is an instrumental interlude.)

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