Senor Coconut Fiesta Songs

Having laid to rest his Kraftwerk cover catalogue during an epic, conga line-filled performance at Mutek this past spring, German-born/Chilean-based producer Atom Heart has again returned to his Senor Coconut persona. Unfortunately, he forgets that the whole thing was an elaborate in-joke that worked because warm Afro-Cuban and South American rhythms are the precise opposite of Kraftwerk’s icy electronic textures. Once you take that dichotomy out of the music, it becomes a run-of-the-mill cover album. Punk cover group Me First and the Gimme Gimmes succeed by speeding up so the songs are finished before they stop being funny. These Latino versions of "Smooth Operator” or "Riders on the Storm” slow the songs so much boredom sets in long before they crawl to a close. So that’s what "Beat It” sounds like as a cha-cha-cha…now what? His own compositions are great dance floor fillers though, deftly melding his laptop with his crack live band, especially on the self-explanatory single "Electrolatino.” Maybe next time he’ll leave the covers off (or at least pick better songs). (Emperor Norton)