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Los Amigos Invisibles

Super Pop Venezuela (Gozadera)

Reviewed by Robert Gabriel, Fri., Sept. 15, 2006

ACL Music Fest Reviews

Los Amigos Invisibles

Super Pop Venezuela (Gozadera)

If their motto "El Disco es Cultura" doesn't indicate that Los Amigos Invisibles take leisure time seriously, then their extended jaunts through lush rainforests of rhythm certainly do. The Venezuelan supergroup, with 15 years spent hashing out their sound, situates a ravenous flare for sexual stamina atop canopies of traditional pop indigenous to their tropical homeland. While the joyous chanting and sublime guitar work on "All Day Today" sticks fairly close to what should be expected from a children's standard, "Miss Venezuela" captures the feel of house music run through an overlapping labyrinth of compression filters. Produced by Dimitri From Paris, an expansive array of influence finds "Si Tu Te Vas" revisiting the Stepping Into Tomorrow-era optimism of the Mizzell Brothers, while "Mao Mao" elicits a "Melting Pot" of Stax funk. As the loft-hop playfulness of "A Una Mujer" gives way to an atrocious "Rico Suave" rap, it becomes apparent that Venezuela super pop at times suffers from its eager attempts at cosmopolitan ubiquity. Ultimately, the starry-eyed dreamscapes and pure dance-floor heaven provided by tracks including "Yo No Se" and "Curda y Pain" more than make up for any unevenness the album provides. (Sunday, 5:30pm, Washington Mutual stage)

**.5

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