International Love, Fidel Nadal

Sony/BMG, Argentina ***1/2
Rating: 70
By Carlos Reyes

Ever since the conclusion of Todos Sus Muertos, the talented Fidel Nadal has literally been releasing albums like changing socks. I’ve listened to at least 9 out of the 19 albums Wikipedia lists as his solo recordings and was always disappointed; his solo debut release Canta Sobre Discos (2000) finally has a competitor as a career’s best. Reggae albums rarely get wide distribution contracts by big labels; Internacional Love is well attended by BMG Argentina as they recognize a notable comeback by Nadal’s groovy style. In a year with the absence of new material by Los Cafres (Argentina) and Cultura Profetica (Puerto Rico), this is a fulfilling dose of prolific Rasta. What is especially pleasant about this album is its disciplinary melodious approach, for the first time during his solo career he doesn’t overstress his smoky vision, the music now sounds accessibly clever. While his prior production Emocionado aimed for optimism for those unlucky ones, this one is purely expositional in its laidback lyrics and a suspension of bass musicality. The best moment of the album comes in an English-language song, “My Princess” is a romanticized drama. Take a listen to the lead track “International Love” which sounds like the early 90s emerge of urban in Panama, simplistic tunes in “No aceleres al tiempo” that oddly could have been part of Nigga/Flex’s Te Quiero. Although not fully conceived, this is an important switch for Nadal where he has fully discharged punk from his visualization.