Hot off its international debut at Eurovision 2012 in Baku, the Romanian band Mandinga has released its new album “Club de Mandinga.” The group unveiled their latest offering at a Brazilian-style carnival in Mamaia on the Romanian riviera over the weekend. They’ve also organized an official album release party for the 12th of July at the fashionable LeGaga club in Bucharest.
“Club de Mandinga”—the group’s fifth album—fits with their motto of “playing happiness”: its summery dance music with Latin and jazz influences will go down easy on the beach or in a club on a hot, sweaty night. Like the band’s previous four albums, “Club de Mandinga” is trilingual: It features Spanish, English and Romanian, which works well for the band’s ever-growing (and ever-more international) fan base. It boasts 12 original songs, including their Eurovision hit “Zaleilah,” a 6-minute bonus track remix, as well as three “back to basics” singles.
Singing on all of them, Elena Ionescu proves, once again, that she is a worthy winner of the Eurovision’s Next Top Model 2012 title. She also demonstrates that she has a beautiful voice that blends flawlessly with Latin and Balkan rhythms alike. Kudos also go to the sexy men of Mandinga: Alex (trumpet), Chupi (drums), El Niño (congas), Omar (piano), Zach (saxophone) and Tony (trombone), who, together with Elena, make up the beloved Romanian-Cuban band.
For me, the highlight of the album is “Europarty,” which could have been a stronger contender than “Zaleilah” in Baku, if it hadn’t been released earlier last year:
You can listen to “Club de Mandinga” in its entirety on the band’s official YouTube account by clicking here.