Without Fear of Extremism

Daisy Valera

Buena Fe, photo: Caridad

Sometimes you’ll hear that art advances a half step behind the masses, which is another way of saying that works of art always reflect how artists see society.

Precisely with this thought in mind, I first heard the CD “Extremistas Nobles” (Noble Extremists) by the duo Bueno Fe and trova musician Frank Delgado – Cuban musicians who are quite popular among the youth.

This popularity is exhibited at concerts crammed with students on the expansive main stairway of the University of Havana.

“Extremistas Nobles,” in my point of view, is a qualitative leap forward in the careers of these artists.  I’m not an art critic but I noted that the disk had a wide variety of Cuban popular and dance rhythms along with trova.

However, what I consider most valuable in this album of 10 songs are its lyrics.  Along with the standard love themes, “Extremistas Nobles” gives us songs that touch on key issues of our day-to-day existence.

These can be heard, for example, where they refer to dreams of youth such as not having to live in their parent’s houses forever or their being able to travel off the island.  Likewise, one song encourages us to be happy despite the difficulties, because we’ll always be able to dream.

Another interesting song reflects the search for Spanish citizenship by that section of the population whose grandparents or parents were born in that country (therefore conferring upon them the right to immigrate to the Iberian nation).

The situation of Cuban agriculture is not overlooked; the singers sing about how people today have been forced to seek individual approaches and prosperity, as opposed to how formerly cooperative means were promoted.

“Afuera” (outside) and “El Gorrión” (the sparrow) are songs that make references; the first one about the interest that many people have in learning about how life is under capitalism, and the second narrating about someone who has the advantage of traveling abroad and not living in a poor neighborhood.

In this way, the latest CD of Bueno Fe becomes an instrument for thinking.  It allows us to question the reality of the island while not giving in to internal tensions that lean toward capitalist economic and social positions.

Daisy Valera

Daisy Valera:Soil scientist and blogger. I write from Mexico City, where Havana sometimes becomes so small that it disappears. However in others, the Cuban capital is a city so past and present that it steals your breath.

4 thoughts on “Without Fear of Extremism

  • ke vuelta cuñada.

  • It’d be great if the government made cuban music widely and easily available over the Internet in future. I’d like to hear some of this stuff.

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