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Tiempo Libre: What You’ve Been Waiting for/Lo Que Esperabas

Miami-based timba band Tiempo Libre is one of very few contemporary Cuban groups in the U.S. to emphasize what many feel to be the more aggressive side of Cuban music. The intensity of timba is certainly not for everyone; this new-millennium form of “salsa-on-steroids” represents perhaps the least subtle of the island’s dance-infused genres, perplexing fans of the more traditional (and nostalgic) repertoire with its time-bending breaks and in-your-face tumbaos and montunos. Thanks to the youth and effervescence of this powerhouse group, however, the new face of Miami has embraced timba well beyond Cuban borders. Lo Que Esperabas follows Tiempo Libre’s Grammy-nominated Arroz con Mango with unbridled energy perfectly suited to the needs of dancers.

Under the direction of keyboardist Jorge Gómez, this new effort of mostly original songs showcases this tight-knit band and its absolute devotion to making fans move. While the majority of the uptempo grooves fill virtually every nook and cranny of the sonic space, highlights on the album such as “Arrebata’o” and the album-closer “Ella Tiene” allow for a slightly more relaxed and funky atmosphere, and the band’s new twist on the classic tune “A Bayamo en Coche” is sure to please fans of the sounds of decades past. Tiempo Libre clearly relishes their role as ambassadors of Cuba’s most uninhibited of dance forms, giving fans of timba everywhere what they’ve been waiting for.

Originally Published