Sometimes when you love someone, you feel like you have it all. You hold them in high regard, ignoring their faults. What you have is something special that can’t be taken away. In the new track, “Te Tengo” or “I have you” in Portuguese, the duo Ples Jones & Alba Santos immerse the listener into a terrific, albeit hauntingly beautiful tale of love. “Te Tengo” is a high energy track with a blizzard of bright tones and cascading beats.
Sung entirely in the Portuguese language, I’m unfortunately not at liberty to decipher the lyrics. I can, however, share with you how I felt listening to “Te Tengo”. The song is balanced with a fine amalgamation of jazz, R&B and a bit of funky rhythms. Much like the rush of falling in love and counting the ways your significant other enchants you, that same adrenaline is in the synth beats and house tones. Jones, who is based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, dabbles in some dreamy sonic pleasures and layers with some heavier, albeit bouncier coloring. His house music wheelhouse stretches the listener’s imagination. The ebb and flow to his sequencing is righteous, giving a powerful push when the time calls for it. When it doesn’t, the power is subtle, albeit, moving in a relaxed fashion. Then, bursts! He changes and envelopes the listener into a wake of glimmering beats. Not one to hold back, he shines a smooth layer atop the pulse, giving the song an added luster. Meshed with Santos vocals, the brilliance to “Te Tengo” is the back and forth between these continent-apart artists.
The remarkable vocals of Santos, who is Brazil-based, sings in a way that feels like a refreshing libation. She circumvents traditional or ordinary tones and breaks through with her unique stylings. Santos’ stunning voice is slightly smoky, brandishing a strong sense of jazz and soul. Her voice is the perfect accoutrement to Jones’ lavish music bed. Calling to mind the image of standing in the studio, stoic like Lady Liberty herself, Santos’ shining beacon of a voice reinforces the idea of what it’s like to have someone’s heart, what it’s like to nurture someone or be adored. As Santos’ drives the emotion through the song, like a burning desire, her voice is never weak. She does, however, exhibit sincerity in her grand moments of shattered-glass like moments. She echoes hurt and joy in equal measures. Her vulnerability is appreciated and heartfelt. The listener can easily step into her shoes and feel that love.
There are several mixes of “Te Tengo” available via the pair’s Spotify page. Ples Jones released Sounds of the Mind in 2019 and Euphony in 2016. Jones also recently worked alongside Alba Santos on the wonderful song, “Distance”. This early 2020 addition has bright guitar-riff like beats and haunting melodies. Listeners that enjoy “Te Tengo” will find similarities, but a distinctly unique listening experience. Santos released the solo effort, Improvisatión, a 10-track album that features hits like “Those Eyes”, “You Make My Day” and “Angels Night”.