Personnel: Ken Yerke, Gerry Hilera, Tamara Hatwan, Mario de Le¢n, Jacqueline Brand , Josefina Vergara, Tereza Stanislav (violin); Jorge Moraga, Matthew Funes (viola); Chris Bleth (oboe).
Recording information: Casa Dos Cisnes, Puerto Vallarta, MX; Cham n Music Studio, Gdl, MX; Conway Studios, LA; Criteria Hit Factory, Miami; Henson Recording Studios, LA; Jumk/Om Studio, Brazil; NRG Recording Studios, LA; Ocean Studios, Burbank; Ocean Way Studios, LA; Oigo Estudios, Gdl, MX; Steak House Studios, LA.
On their eighth studio effort, Guadalajara's Mana continue to evolve their hard rock sound, bringing in influences like the Foo Fighters and pop. The latter influences the lead-off single, "Lluvia al Coraz¢n," a number that doesn't hit as hard as usual when it comes to guitar and drums, but the emotional weight is very heavy and communicated beautifully. Opening with a mournful harmonica, "Amor Clandestino" is Mana at their most wistful while "Sor Maria" utilizes a drum machine and a sample of monks chanting for one of the more "produced" numbers in the band's entire catalog. Mana's growth might not be to every fan's taste, but with the same heart and same conviction as always, this mature and sometimes softer effort feels like a natural progression. ~ David Jeffries