From a heartbeat, to a firestorm of fluttering beats and spinning sounds, “Te Tengo” from Ples Jones & Alba Santos is a non-stop heart-pumping track. Translated to mean “I have you”, the song allows the listener to escape into a story of romance and emotional revelry.

Jones is an electronic music producer and house artist. He calls Pittsburgh, Penn., home. He joins a select group of musicians from The Steel City, including Rusted Root, Christina Aguilera, Shanice, Wiz Khalifa and Anti-Flag. He released Sounds of the Mind in 2019, a 16-track whopper. Santos describes her genre of singing as jazz, soul, funk and R&B on her Facebook profile. She is based in Palo Alto, Brazil. The combination of these two talents is not only electric, it’s palpable. The listener can feel the passionate pleas, and a wildly unique chemistry pulsing throughout the track. The pair also collaborated on the track “Distance”.

BANDCAMP: https://plesjonesalbasantos.bandcamp.com/

The song is sung in Portuguese, but no translation is needed to enjoy the thrusting music bed and Santos’ singing. Her voice, more traversed in the spectrum compared to Ariana Grande, is exotic and intoxicating. She has a sensuality that ribbons across the beats. Her voice curves in a way that feels elegant and enigmatic. She’s sultry, but sensitive. Unraveling and ravishing, her voice seduces the listener. I can definitely hear the jazz tones in her voice. She definitely encompasses many genres in her singing style. “Te Tengo” made me feel like a summer night, sitting beachside and becoming lost in the waves of the ocean. Swept away are what was, what I had, and coming ashore is what I do have, what is in my life. I felt sentimental and secure all-at-once. Santos’ stirring vocals give the impression that she’s forlorn, but hopeful. She’s singing her heart out with variances and keen attention to the song’s music bed.

APPLE MUSIC: https://music.apple.com/us/album/te-tengo-ep/1497889424?i=1497889427&ign-gact=3&ls=1

Jones’ vibes are light, airy but memorable. In a landscape that is often pigeon-holed to a particular genre or sound, Jones’ takes this song into a more emotional state. It’s gripping symbiotic relationship with Santos’ vocals make “Te Tengo” more than just your average dance number. It feels freeing. Jones always seems to pick up where the tail end of Santos’ voice trails off, as if it were a re-charge button. He’s equally seductive and mysterious, adding textures and flavoring to the song that keep the listener highly engaged. The music base’s drama is heightened and it becomes a sort of modern dance within Santos’ voice.

“Te Tengo” is a captivating track. Overall, I felt like this song pulled at my heartstrings and my soul. I danced around in my head, with the music and lyrics playing lead. I was definitely in the pleasure groove. Santos’ voice is angelic, and against the intricate and buoyant Jones’ beats, the song accelerates from the start. All is right with “Te Tengo” and it’s well-worth the listen to journey to these crevasses of the heart so often forgotten. What you have, you have always.

Michael Rand

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