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Diamantes reaches higher plateau with new CD

By: Kenny Ehman

Date Posted: 1999-10-08

Diamantes is back! Okinawa's premiere Latin pop music sensation celebrated the release of their new CD "AZUCAR" last Sunday night in front of a packed house of both new and old fans. The group proved that they still have the "stuff" that took them to the top of the local music scene several years ago. Their performance was spectacular, and Diamantes has definitely found a tight groove with their latest sound.

For fans, the release of "AZUCAR" has been a long two-year wait. Although the band was busy playing concerts and touring Japan, getting back to the studio since their last CD took some time. But, the long break seemed to be just what the seven member group needed - "AZUCAR" is definitely their best work to date.

When Diamantes cut their first CD "Okinawa Latina" in 1993 they took the island by storm, playing to sell-out concerts everywhere they went. Their music was energetic, raw, and different. Diamantes formed a bridge between the music of South America and Okinawa; fans received the Latin rhythmic sounds and Spanish lyrics as if they were their own.

In 1994 the band followed the success of their first CD with "Esperansa" and continued their climb to the top of the music charts. By 1995 the band had achieved a following in mainland Japan and released another CD plus a mini album. The following two years saw Diamantes gain many new fans with a different sound than from their past. Their 1996 CD "VIVA! DIAMANTES" was a break from their original music, and seemed to hint that the band was looking to expand their musical abilities to reach a larger audience. Despite going through a few changes, Diamantes was still the same fantastic live band they always were, but it was also evident the group was searching for something more.

"AZUCAR" took Alberto Shiroma and the rest of Diamantes back to a more pronounced Latin influence. This self-produced CD also showcases a more confident Diamantes; the musical arrangements are excellent and the band plays with experience. Shiroma's voice is as exceptional as ever, but this time his lyrics are brought to life with a much fuller background. "AZUCAR" is an awesome blend of the band's roots and their true talents as musicians.

"Quermos Salsa," the very first track, sets the tempo for the whole CD. It is an exciting dance song with very vibrant percussion. The brass horns increase the energy, and Tarbo's strong guitar solos give the song an extra dimension. Shiroma's vocals are powerful and get you moving to the beat. This is Diamantes at their best.

"Festejando" and the title track "Azucar" spotlight Diamantes' Latin sound with very catchy lyrics and strong performances from all the band members.

The hit single, "Go! Go Ahead!" is a get-up and dance tune that all Diamantes' fans will like from the start. The song is fun and holds the flavor that has made the band so popular here on Okinawa.

If you are a Diamantes ballad fan then you will definitely enjoy "Alheli." The song is soft and the acoustic background infectious.

After listening to every track, you’ll realize that Diamantes' music is no longer just a bridge between South America and Okinawa; the music is their own and it radiates from this island to the rest of the world. Diamantes has definitely reached a higher musical plateau. Whether you are a die-hard fan or even if you have never heard Diamantes before, you will definitely enjoy "AZUCAR." The CD is available at all CD shops and music stores.

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