Artist: Bomba Estereo
Details: 11 songs, 50 minutes
Who’s Choice: Gone Mild
Bomba Estereo makes music to dance to. Picture a big dark room with pulsing light and lots of energy. It has been a long time since this middle aged woman put on her dance shoes for such frolics. Back in the day, we did our share of grooving to the beats of Duran Duran and David Bowie, but to picture me dancing to Elegencia Tropical is comical. Time and place. I am beyond the time for electro pop, and the places where this music would be playing would likely stir up my developing claustrophobia as well as being totally over-stimulating for me. This is not an attack on the music, but my version of hell would have me in a Wal-Mart with this music playing really loudly.
Bomba Estereo is a Colombian band which means that they perform in Spanish. Because I don’t speak Spanish, I listened a lot to what was going on beyond the lyrics. I did think the female vocalist was pretty great. There is some rapping style that reminded me of M.I.A.. Some songs were very poppy; some had some really pretty parts; in some she is fierce!
But, oh lord! There are so many sounds on this – so many unnatural sounds. For me it’s distracting. Gone Mild says that it reminds him of science fiction movies. That’s a good analogy. There were some that reminded me of those toy instruments that the kids would bring home from birthday parties. You know – the kind that they would spend the next several days annoying their sibling with? Remember that plastic whistle that you blow in and pull a plunger? That sound is all over this album. Drum machines loop and loop. It is like it is playing on my heart-rate and nervous system. You cannot listen to this standing or sitting still. You have to be shaking your leg, or bopping your head, or shimmying your shoulders, or just getting up and dancing. Who has the energy for that?
Again, I would not have ever listened fully to this album had not John recommended it. That is what this whole “Album of the Week” endeavor is about. While I am too square to offer electronic music a place within realm of comfort, I am glad that I spent some time with something different for more than a cursory listen.
Next week: Brothers and Sisters of the Eternal Son, by Damien Jurado.