Quetzal – The Eternal Getdown

Album Review | Smithsonian Folkways | Review by Allan Wilkinson | Stars: 3/5

The extensive sleeve notes contained within the handsome 44 page dual language illustrated booklet, detailing thoughts on social justice, race, anger, frustration, disillusionment and hopelessness amongst the indigenous peoples of Latin America, almost overshadows the music found within.  One of the two key players on The Eternal Getdown, Martha Gonzalez, an activist, feminist music theorist, assistant professor of Chicano and Latin studies, who just happens to be in possession of a strong and forceful voice to be reckoned with, endeavours to address some of the many issues in song here on this, the second Quetzal album release on the Smithsonian Folkways label.  Quetzal Flores, the founder of this outfit, translates some of the many theories on the struggle for dignity that explain the ‘eternal getdown’ into 18 superbly produced tracks that cross styles and borders to create lavish musical vistas, which include the Spanish-flavoured “La Bamba” and “La Loroncita”, the Stevie Wonder influenced “Getting to Know” and the ultra-catchy “Pillow People”, which I defy anyone to play through just the once.  The music can be enjoyed on its own merits, but identifying and understanding some of the social concerns, ideologies and basic human empathy, will make The Eternal even more fulfilling.