BY MICHAEL TOLAND
Several years ago, there was an episode of the execrable sitcom That 70s Show in which the main characters visited a disco club. Fez, the ambiguously Latin American cliché, heard the sound animating the folks on the dance floor and immediately announced, “It’s salsa!” No, he was told by one of his buddies, it’s disco. “No,” he replies emphatically, “that is salsa.”
A cultural potato/potahto, perhaps, but no band embodies the blur better than Los Amigos Invisibles. The Venezuelan band’s impeccable blend of funky grooves and Latin melodies (or is that Latin grooves and funk melodies?) with the occasional electronic accent is responsible for some of the best dance music on the planet, and
Repeat After Me, the sextet’s seventh record, represents that blend at its apex. The band explores every facet of its sound here, from the synth pop of “Hopeless Romance” and computer funk of “Robot Love” to the soulful salsa of “Corazón Tatú” and the psychedelic rock of “Like Everybody Else.” No matter what direction the group takes, though, it always keeps one foot on the dance floor.
Arguably, though, the Amigos are at their best when they just lay back and groove. The lush, straight-up disco (or salsa or whatever) of “Invisible Love,” “Stay” and “Río Porque No Fue Un Sueño” grab feet and hips and refuse to let go until both have danced themselves senseless. The unfettered joy powering these tunes – hell, every tune here – gives the music wings that fly it beyond analysis and categorization, straight into irresistibility. Deny Repeat After Me and you deny both heart and hips. And no one needs to do that.
DOWNLOAD: “Invisible Love,” “Stay,” “Like Everybody Else”