“Tears OF Blood” by Isabella Castillo, Michael Castillo and Descemer Bueno

A groove can do so much for a song on its own that when we find righteous rhythm accompanied by powerful melodicism and heartfelt lyrics, it makes the beat all the more captivating to the audience. In a collaborative single from Isabella Castillo, Michael Castillo and Descemer Bueno titled “Tears of Blood,” the groove that the three players straddle does as much to construct the narrative in the song as any of their verses would – if not a bit more. There’s a humanizing element to the gentle strut of the percussion as we find it wedged between vocal harmonies on one side and hard-hitting rap on the other, and when listening to “Tears of Blood” without interruption, it feels like the pulse of freedom embodied within an instrumental component. 

The harmonies in this track do a lot to facilitate raw catharsis rather than simply alluding to a trend or some other feature within another artist’s sound, and as surprising as it might come to some people, this actually makes this single quite the unique find. So much of what the pop collaboration concept has become revolves around building a song within a predesigned framework mainstream audiences are already used to, but in taking a more original route in the making of “Tears of Blood,” these players make it known that their emotion is driving the point home in this release, not the mere black and white qualities of the story being told alone. That’s huge for a critic like myself, and anyone else with a picky ear for pop. 

Instrumentally, I think that “Tears of Blood” holds up remarkably well beside its competition, with specific praise assigned to the string componentry more heavily spotlighted in the second half of the track. Every part of the backdrop speaks to the authenticity and cultural significance of the song’s aesthetic, without overblowing certain cues to the point of sounding campy. It’s a fine line between celebration and stunted appreciation of traditions, but these are three musicians who know how to get as close to that line as they can in an effort to exploit the best elements of their chemistry together. I want more music like this in my life, and I see a lot of listeners responding to this similarly this late summer season. 

I’m really glad I came across “Tears of Blood” recently, and although it’s a one of a kind performance from a selection of talent I wasn’t familiar with ahead of this release, it has all the vibes of a track we’d hear from a band that’s been through thick and thin together. There’s no lusting after a hook in this piece, but instead a love for the medium and the majestic notion of freedom that is just what a lot of us could use this time of year, and whether it winds up being a one-off collaboration between these players or the start of something a little more ambitious and significant to the underground market to which they’re appealing, I’ll be more than happy – to put it mildly. 

Michael Rand

The music of Isabella Castillo has been heard all over the world in partnership with the radio plugging services offered by Musik and Film Radio Promotions Division.  Learn more https://musikandfilm.com

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