Bomba Estereo Eleganza Tropical

Bomba EstereoEleganza Tropical
The title is apt. On Bomba Estereo's long awaited second album, they might have been expected to deliver a dozen blazing variations on "Fuego." That song had incredible staying power within Tropical Bass DJ circles and the band's urgency was more than convincing live. However, they've smartly dialled it back on this second album. Vocalist Li Saumet proves to be an able balladeer, though still forceful, as on "El Alma Y El Cuerpo," where she sounds like she's reaping a whirlwind of Hammond organ on top of a Champeta groove. The production and sense of variation, particularly in the well-considered electronic sounds, are mostly impressive. True, when wistful and/or spiritual songs start dominating the proceedings there's a danger of over-smoothing, but the percolating base of Afro-Caribbean percussion never falters. Highlights of this record do tend towards the more propulsive: the heavy backbeat of "Bailar Conmigo" and the collaboration with Brazilian MC BNegao on "Rocas." But this is a cosmopolitan record that doesn't dissolve into beige-ness. There's no doubt this is a range of sound they can bring to the world either in clubs or stadiums. (Polen)