New Album Review: Silvio Rodríguez’s «Quería saber»

Silvio Rodríguez is a timeless classic in the world of music. With his unique guitar playing style, distinctive nasal voice, powerful poetic lyrics, and catchy melodies, each of his albums feels like a classic. His latest album, «Quería saber» (2024), is no exception.

Recorded at the Ojalá Studios in Havana, Cuba, between 2019 and 2024, «Quería saber» features eleven new songs that stay true to Rodríguez’s signature style. Some of these songs may not be entirely new, as they were performed during his free concerts in Cuba as part of his famous «Gira por los Barrios.» The album includes songs written in the 21st century, with the exception of «Tonada para dos poemas de Rubén Martínez Villena.»

The album showcases a more elaborate sound compared to Rodríguez’s previous album, «Para la espera» (2020). This time, the Cuban artist chose to record the songs with a full band, adding diverse instrumentation and a variety of sonic textures. The album features contributions from talented musicians such as Jorge Aragón, Frank Fernández, Oliver Valdés, Emilio Vega, Jorge Reyes, and Niurka González, among others.

«Quería saber» explores themes of love, politics, social issues, and existential reflections, all delivered in Rodríguez’s characteristic style. From the politically charged «Para no botar el sofá» to the melancholic «Ciudad» and the reflective «Nuestro después,» each song offers a glimpse into the troubadour’s world of introspection and storytelling.

Closing the album is the only song not from this century, «Tonada para dos poemas de Rubén Martínez Villena,» a tribute to the poet and revolutionary from the 1930s. Rodríguez explains the origins of the song and its significance in his musical journey.

«Quería saber» is a testament to Silvio Rodríguez’s enduring talent and his ability to captivate audiences with his music that transcends time and borders. As the Cuban artist continues to explore new musical territories, his latest album stands as a testament to his artistry and creativity.