I have to admit, I have a love/hate relationship with these guys and that translates onto most of their work, I love half of it while I hate the other half.
On one side, yeah, I have to give it to them for being the only cool band to ever come out of Venezuela. At the same time, Venezuela is a weird country where people actually enjoy merengue-hip-hop, still, in a totally non-ironic way, so it must not be too hard to be the coolest amongst so much cheesiness.
The thing is, Amigos have been living in New York for like ten years now so they don’t really represent Venezuela much anymore. Now they are the mandatory Latino party band that you have to see at EVERY music festival there is in the US. They are fun to see live and they always drag a crowd of hot women that you will never see at any other Latin Alternative shows, so that’s cool. But the idea that whenever a concert promoter tries to fill a festival line-up and eventually gets to the part when he wonders, “hey we should have some Latinos here too, who could it be?” and he can only come up with ONE band, always the same one, that’s just depressing dude.
Then again, I can’t hate Amigos for what it’s not their fault. They have no control over their home-country’s lack of taste and the concert promoters’ lack of imagination.
So why do I really hate them? Because they keep insisting on a disco-funk revival that was cool back in 1998? Because all their songs are exclusively about sex from a horny-frat-boy perspective? Because when they sing in English they’re horrible?
No, I hate them because they don’t give me more of what I love about them. Yeah, sounds like a contradiction, but let me explain: Los Amigos Invisibles seem to have a very creative collage-aesthetics side that definitely comes from a DJ’s brain. But they express this exclusively in the short skits between songs, some of their instrumental tracks, and their amazing live mash-ups. I love all that, but on their albums that type of content is relegated to the filler category, while the highlights are always those redundant corny songs that stick to a fixed formula.
I’d love if they got rid of the obnoxious singer and just release a DJ oriented album with tracks full of those little brilliant bits, like the dildo commercial on this new CD, properly named Commercial (and released by the only US-based Latin music label that matters, Nacional Records). But then again, if they did that, it’d be just me at their shows and none of the hot Latinas who go only because the singer is oh-so-handsome. So they are probably right at giving them priority over the eccentric requests of this particular hater.
Anyway, there are at least four tracks from Commercial I’ll be keeping on my play-list to probably include on my future DJ sets -definitely the instrumental afro-funk “Burrundanga”- maybe more.