Mix equal parts cumbia, electro and alt.rock dance, and you've got the potent, refreshing cocktail that is Colombia's Bomba Estéreo. At first, Elegencia Tropical, their latest album, sounds more refined, focused and introspective than their previous release, the party anthem-packed Blow Up. “Bosque” and “El Alma y el Cuerpo” are lush, warm and decidedly gentle. Then things kick up in a big way, with tracks like “Pure Love” and “Caribbean Power,” before winding back down with mellow cuts such as “Lo Que Tengo Que Decir,” and the fuzz rock-infused “Pa’ Respirar” (both personal favorites). Liliana Saumet's vocals can be tricky, veering from sensual to nasal, sometimes within the same song (see “Bailar Conmigo”). Overall, this is enchanting, invigorating stuff. (M. Brianna Stallings)
I Bet On Sky ain't Bug, but J Mascis remains a deep well of righteous riffs. Lou Barlow is still a brilliant weirdo bassist and Murph, the drummer, is still bald. The third album released by the reformed original lineup of Dinosaur Jr. is pretty much what you'd expect: sweet, drawling Mascis vocals—man, are they auto-tuned?—with meandering phrasing, lyrics about day-to-day bullshit, quiet-loud-quiet song structures and insane Super Fuzz guitar solos. Unfortunately, listening to these new songs is like taking the generic version of Prozac. It's just not as effective as the original. (Geoff Plant)
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