.
http://assets-s3.rollingstone.com/assets/images/album_review/calle-1394213771.jpg MultiViral

Calle 13

MultiViral

El Abismo
Rolling Stone: star rating
Community: star rating
5 4 0
March 7, 2014

Calle 13 have come a long way since their 2005 debut, when they were a smartass pair of twentysomethings from Trujillo Alto, Puerto Rico, riding the international reggaeton boom with a club-minded mix of sex talk and political invective. With their fifth disc, frontman Residente and his halfbrother Visitante have made as ambitious a hip-hop album – if that's not too narrow a term – as any in any language. Beginning with an incantatory intro delivered by Uruguayan author Eduardo Galeano, the album ramps up through "Respira El Momento," where Residente breathlessly escalates his Eminem-ish flow over dark piano, orchestral swells and choral drama. "El Aguante" pays tribute to human endurance, calling out a laundry list of dubious leaders (among them "Hitler, Idi Amin, Stalin/Bush, Truman, Ariel Sharon") over a pennywhistle stomp owing to both Gogol Bordello and the Pogues. And on the title track, driven forward by Middle Eastern vocals and guest Tom Morello's strafing guitar, controversial WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange – who recorded his spoken-word part in the basement of the Ecuadorian embassy in London – salutes "the power of people armed with the truth." The song, like the entire LP, is an object lesson in just that.

prev
Album Review Main Next

ADD A COMMENT

Community Guidelines »
loading comments

loading comments...

COMMENTS

Sort by:
    Read More
    Around the Web
    Powered By ZergNet
    Daily Newsletter

    Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

    Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
    marketing partners.

    X

    We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

    Song Stories

    “Wake Up Everybody”

    John Legend and the Roots | 2010

    A Number One record by Harold Melvin and the Bluenotes in 1976 (a McFadden- and Whitehead-penned classic sung by Teddy Pendergrass) inspired the title and lead single from Wake Up!, John Legend's tribute album to message music. The more familiar strains of "Wake Up Everybody" also fit his agenda. "It basically sums up, in a very concise way, all the things we were thinking about when we were putting this record together in that it's about justice, doing the right thing and coming together to make the world a better place," he said. Vocalists Common and Melanie Fiona assist Legend on this mission to connect.

    More Song Stories entries »
    www.expandtheroom.com