February 14, 2013
Bomba Estereo | Elegancia Tropical
TITLE: Elegancia Tropical
No sophomore slump for this Bogota-based quartet – their 2009 full-length debut introduced many USA listeners to electro-cumbia (especially via the hit single “Fuego”), and this one goes well beyond its predecessor. The album has the dramatic arc of a DJ set with an atmospheric opener (track 1), a track designed to move folks to the dance floor (2, the song here that’s most similar to “Fuego”), a couple of midtempo groovers (3 and 4, with guitar riffs inspired by champeta and borrowed from Congolese soukous and Antillean zouk), a high-energy climax (the cumbia-house track 5; and 7, a slice of anthemic electronic dance music that ought to be this album’s hit single), and a head-expanding closer (11, updated psych-rock that’s kind of a 21st century Os Mutantes). The band’s secret weapon is singer Li Samuet – her unique style combines a rapper’s attack and flow with a singer’s pitch and control, allowing her to be both the front person and the lead instrument. If you like EDM or dancefloor-oriented world music (coupe decale, kwaito, kuduro, etc.) or electro-cumbia or even rock bands like LCD Soundsystem, do not miss this outstanding album.
TOP TRACKS: 2 4 5 7 11
ALSO RECOMMENDED: 1 3 9