Leo Rojas is named the “pop star of pan flute”. Especially during the last years, his instrumental interpretations of pop songs made him grow in popularity worldwide. The key factor thereby is the his way to entertain people on stage and on social media. Colours of Nature is already Rojas’ sixth album. It has been released on 6th May 2022.
Leo Rojas – About The Artist
Juan Leonardo Santilla Rojas was born on 18th October 1984 in Otavalo, Ecuador. He is, however, nowadays more popular in Europe, as he first emigrated to Spain in 2000 and now lives in Berlin, Germany, together with his Polish wife. Another key factor for his European popularity is that he won the 2011 edition of Das Supertalent, the German version of the … Got Talent series. His first round song was his version of El Condor Pasa, his winning song was The Lonely Shepherd by James Last. Since then, Rojas is releasing music. However, his fifth album, Leo Rojas, is dated as of 2017.
Leo Rojas – Colours of Nature – Track by Track
The sixteen track album lasts 51 minutes
1. Blinding Lights
This one is the reason why Leo Rojas first appeared on Flyctory.com, as part of my 31st December Songs of the Week posting. I still love that interpretation. He is just finding a great balance between keeping the pop background and the rhythm, but still having a clear focus and presence of the pan flute. Nice opener.
2. Bad Habits
Even though I would not say that this Ed Sheeran cover is one of the best ones of the album, it nicely illustrates the magic of the album. Leo Rojas does not change the character of the song drastically. You can still enjoy and sing-a-long, if you like. But still, he is changing the focus. I love that. Cool track.
3. Wellerman (2k21 Native RMX)
In this new album of the album version, Rojas is also working the vocal parts. A nice refence to his native background. Ain’t this one catching? I absolutely love it.
4. Cold Heart
One fact which illustrates the quality and popularity of Rojas’ songs is also the wide range of permissions by the original artists he is receiving. Cold Heart is close to the latest Elton John release with Dua Lipa. Perfectly transformed into the world of pan flute.
5. Save Your Tears
Save Your Tears does not catch me as much as other songs of the album. Nice listen and I like the amazing playing techniques – but simply not as present as other tracks.
Stay is to me one of the versions which is diverting quite a lot from the original. Stay by Leo Rojas gives the song a more emotional, a bit of kitschy touch compared to the Kid Laroi and Justin Bieber version. Good listen.
7. Easy On Me
This Adele track feels like a perfect match for a pan flute cover. And, indeed, this instrumental transformation gives an amazing focus on the emotional original recording. Superb.
8. Stand By Me
The eighth track is covering the Ben E. King classic. However, the background is very pop-ish. I would have loved to see how blues-ish the panflute can be. Thus, I am a bit of disappointed.
Ed Sheeran is in focus for the second time on Colours Of Nature. I feel that this one works better than the second track, but this is also very subjective. Nice.
10. Iko Iko
Fun fact about this 1953 song, which has been covered so often: when the track has been released the first time, they did it under a wrong title. The song by James Crawford and Lloyd Price was originally named Chock-A-Mo, but the release title was Jock-A-Mo. Leo Rojas uses some vocals here and there – but overall, his Iko Iko feels rather unremarkable.
There is even a reference to Germany on the album: Rasputin has been written by Frank Farian and became popular with the Boney M. version. I like the cover, but the panflute is softening the sound of a song a bit. By that, it is also killing quite a proportion of the energy of the original.
12. La Colegiala
La Colegiala is one of the Spanish pop classics – I am sure you know it even if you don’t know the title. The Iberian musical energy is nicely kept in this version of the song. Absolutely like that.
13. Love Not War the Tampa Beat
Some cover versions of the album are great and magical – some are rather feeling to kill the original energy. This Jason Derulo and Nuka re-interpretation is somewhere in between. It definitely does not connect to the original. Sometimes, it sounds a bit like Despacito to me as well.
This Nightcrawlers is made to dance. You want to leave all your power on the dance floor while listening to the song. Do you do so when you listen to the Leo Rojas version? Unfortunately, absolutely not. It is rather made to move to the rhythm while having a nice drink. Is that good or bad? That’s up to you.
15. Bongo Cha Cha Cha
By writing this review, I learned that the original is a German production (original interpretation by Italian Caterina Valente). I always felt that it is a traditional one. Leo Rojas does great in here. However, Bongo Cha Cha Cha is likely the song with the least presence of his instrument on the album.
16. Somewhere over the rainbow / What a wonderful world
The last track is a beautiful blend of two absolute classics. I feel it is amazing and reminds me back when Leo Rojas became a star in German TV. Some high level magic at the end of Colours of Nature.
Leo Rojas – Colours of Nature – Spotify
Here is Colours of Nature on Spotify:
Leo Rojas – Colours of Nature – My View
I simply love what this guy is doing. There is a beautiful touch in his interpretations. Nonetheless, I have to state that the album has ups and downs. Some songs put an amazing new view on the songs, some are rather turning them to background diddies. The album is a really good one, but it is not top level.
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Finland at Flyctory.com
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