Island Life

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Mark Schwartz
The second at-bat for New York's Afro-Latin funk orchestra pulls off an admirable feat: It actually makes President Alien look conservative. Yerba Buena's debut was a sprawling, kinetic assemblage of hip-hop, merengue, cumbia, rumba, and Afro-beat, with a few Middle Eastern touches. Well, Andres Levin and his crew have made up for that lack of ambition by adding vibrant swaths of Iberian color and more to Island Life. Invoking the sound of '70s Spanish Gypsy pop -- think proto-Gipsy Kings -- tracks such as "El Burrito" and "Te Estoy Amando Locamente" pulsate with flamenco fire. The Gyspy legend Peret even appears on a "Burrito" remix, invoking his hit "Saboreando." For...
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Mark Schwartz
The second at-bat for New York's Afro-Latin funk orchestra pulls off an admirable feat: It actually makes President Alien look conservative. Yerba Buena's debut was a sprawling, kinetic assemblage of hip-hop, merengue, cumbia, rumba, and Afro-beat, with a few Middle Eastern touches. Well, Andres Levin and his crew have made up for that lack of ambition by adding vibrant swaths of Iberian color and more to Island Life. Invoking the sound of '70s Spanish Gypsy pop -- think proto-Gipsy Kings -- tracks such as "El Burrito" and "Te Estoy Amando Locamente" pulsate with flamenco fire. The Gyspy legend Peret even appears on a "Burrito" remix, invoking his hit "Saboreando." For those enamored of less-outré Latin music, there's a healthy dose of merengue, "Belly Dancer," featuring the Dominican rappers Fulanito; a samba-powered "Cityzen Citysoy"; and perhaps the disc's most party-startin' track, a boogaloo helmed by "Subway Joe" Bataan himself -- "Bilingual Girl," stuffed with sexual innuendo and Spanish Harlem soul-swagger. The bilingual rapping and singing that's Yerba Buena's trademark is even better integrated, making sure that everyone will understand the bit of George Bush–bashing on "Bla Bla Bla." With their hyper-inclusive second set, Yerba Buena prove that no matter how far they wander, they always have a home in the polyglot island of New York City.
All Music Guide
Yerba Buena let their Deee-Lite out and come to terms with their inner Kid Creole & the Coconuts on their spicy, sparkling, and entirely weekend sophomore release, Island Life. The album is one Saturday short of their stunning debut, but there are more quirky and smart touches and the highlights are extra spicy. The collective blend together a wealth of Latin styles like they did on their debut, but this time hip-hop is favored over house when it comes to outside influences. That M1 from Dead Prez has to adapt his style to the band rather than vice-versa is an interesting and different way to handle the usual hip-hop guest appearance, and minus the reggaeton remix of "Sugar Daddy" snuck on the end of the CD, the album favors organic over electronic. "Sugar Daddy" works best in the club, but the rest of the salsa-meets-son-meets-whatever-they-feel-like album works just fine in the car, on the headphones, and anywhere else the party needs starting. Segues, skits, and sound effects are part of the picture, as are an assortment of guest artists that are obviously enjoying themselves. Few acts could handle John Leguizamo, Les Nubians, and Celia Cruz on the same album, yet Yerba Buena handle them all on a single track. According to Yerba themselves, Island Life
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 7/26/2005
  • Label: Razor & Tie
  • UPC: 793018294225
  • Catalog Number: 82942
  • Sales rank: 88,675

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Yerba Buena Primary Artist
Brian Lynch Trumpet, Soloist
Pirana Pandeiro, Hand Clapping
Joe Bataan Vocals
Celia Cruz Vocals
Ron Blake Baritone Saxophone, Soprano Saxophone, Tenor Saxophone, Vocals
Andy González Ampeg Baby Bass
Conrad Herwig Trombone
Leo Nocentelli Electric Guitar
Marcus Rojas Tuba
Smokey Hormel Electric Guitar
Les Nubians Vocals
Eric Heywood Pedal Steel Guitar
Chino Vocals, Guest Appearance
Ben Peeler Pedal Steel Guitar
Pedro Martinez Percussion, Drums, Vocals
Steve Barber farfisa organ
John Leguizamo Vocals
Michel Vega Vocals, Background Vocals, Finger Snapping
Yosvany Terry Alto Saxophone
Antonio Cortez Hand Clapping
Xiomara Laugart Vocals
Alain Pérez Rodríguez Piano, Background Vocals, Ampeg Baby Bass
Terreon Gully Drums, Vocals
Ile Aiye Percussion
Neel Murgai Sitar, Tamboura
Pamelia Kurstin Theremin
Rashawn Ross Trumpet, Vocals
Gilmar Gomes Pandeiro
Daria Delgado Background Vocals
Toni Garcia Background Vocals
Cucu Diamantes Vocals, Hand Clapping
Don Divino Vocals
Ricky Quinones Background Vocals
Diego el Cigala Vocals
Ajay Naidu Guest Appearance
Rossy DePalma Spoken Word
Yansi Arias Guest Appearance
Mario Mosquera Chano Accordion
Tom Chess Ney
Edmar Castaneda Harp, Maracas, cuatro
Technical Credits
Russell Elevado Engineer
Juan Formell Composer
Tim Latham Engineer
Andres Levin Composer
E.J. Rodriguez Composer
M15 Composer
Tom Coyne Mastering
Yosvany Terry Horn Arrangements
Geoff Sanoff Engineer
Juan Antonio Salazar Composer
Josh Copp Engineer
George W. Bush Contributor
Cucu Diamantes Horn Arrangements
Alexandro Martinengo Back Cover
Steve Jingo Composer
John Brophy Retouching
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