There have been numerous times in the history of popular song when quiet has proved to be the new the new loud, in fact it is something that happens so frequently, that every few years a new generation manages to discover the singular delights of José Feliciano, and this pleasant album of acoustic covers of hits of the late 60s. As blind Puerto Rican flamenco-indebted guitarists go, there’s something oddly compelling about the way Feliciano tackles the likes of “Light My Fire”, “And I Love Her”, and perhaps most effectively, “In My Life”.
Feliciano has a fine clear voice which suits this material well, and the way that his flamenco-styled guitar work and string section blend together in a pleasing manner means that Feliciano! has repeatedly found a niche as the wind-down album of choice for those who are happy to look outside of pop music’s more frequently trodden paths. As an album it’s certainly more entertaining than the vast majority of releases by the plethora of lesser-talented acoustic troubadours that have tried to achieve the same effect, few of whom have ever dared to name-drop the semi-obscure Feliciano, no matter how much they owe their success to their style borrowing heavily from his original approach.
Okay so Feliciano! might not be an album that will get you and your friends grooving on down on a Saturday night, but as an accompaniment to a romantic meal and a bottle of wine, it’s hard to beat. It also works well if you’re nursing that post-Saturday night hangover, and especially recommended if you’re laying back in your garden enjoying the heady delights of mid-summer.
Sit back, relax and enjoy.