Costa Rica Music Group Malpaís Is a Mellow Charmer — Not Unlike the Country Itself

November 14, 2009 at 7:17 am | Posted in Central America, Costa Rica | Leave a comment
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by Tripatini staff

Tiny Costa Rica holds a very special place in Latin America — largely literate and completely armyless as well as beautiful and exciting. And Malpaís, a six-dude band named after a remote beach area at the end of the road on the Nicoya Peninsula coast (literally, the word means “badlands”), is an unmistakable product of the Tico culture and ethos, fusing jazz and rock with local musical and folk traditions. “Boceto para esperanza,” from their first album, Uno (2003), is a mellow, charmingly produced pop poem both musically and image-wise, interspersing the band’s set at San José’s Jazz Café with pictures and footage of Costa Rica’s nature and people. The tune, and especially its catchy refrain, evokes a certain wistful nostalgia: “Back when the air held traces of blue, and the backyard could fit all the existing light. Take me where I can sleep, grandmother. If you’re going back, take me there.” Sweet.


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