Todo Bien presents playful reggae sound
Published: Friday, February 4, 2011
Updated: Wednesday, February 13, 2013 15:02
Todo Bien's self-titled debut album is an entertaining, incredibly happy venture into the world of New England independent rock. The album, produced by frontman Skip Brunette, bassist John Coretto and Boston musician Qwill, paints a playful, reggae-inspired portrait of music from Hampton, N.H.
The album flows like a softer, mellower version of a Wailers cover band with hints of a more alternative rock-based sound. Roughshod vocals are backed by a basic, but somewhat unique set of instruments including the stand-up bass, with appearances by the ukulele and harp, and backing vocals by Melissa Patnaude, which adds a uniquely feminine twist to several of the choruses. The melodies are difficult not to bop along to, even in the slower moments, and the album ends as playfully as it begins.
The band bio on Todo Bien's official site, todobienmusic.com, describes its sound as a "blend of roots, rock, and reggae glide through solid grooves with an uplifting vibe of feel-good lyrics."
I think this statement is an accurate description. The only element missing is the fact that the band's sound, while upbeat, seems like it would translate much better in a live show rather than a studio recording. Brunette's vocals would hold a lot more weight on a stage, and the energy and care that has clearly been put into the music would infect the audience until it was impossible not to move to the beat.
As it stands, the studio recording is fun, but not as wholly infectious as it could be. There are a few tracks that are too fun to ignore, however. The opening track, "Strike While the Iron's Hot", is possibly one of the best, and "Seed of Change" has a funk element that's delightful to hear.
Luckily, the band is set to play a series of shows around New England in the upcoming months, including a gig at the Stone Church on Feb. 11.
For more information on Todo Bien, including tour dates, check out todobienmusic.com or facebook.com/todobienmusic.