On their latest, Seventies-inspired disc Sin Verguenza (Shameless), Latin Grammy-winning band Bacilos continues to fashion traditional Latin and Caribbean rhythms together with ironic lyrics the way vintage clothing junkies combine kitsch paisley, polyester, bell-bottoms, and straw sombreros into eccentric ensembles. But unlike their last album's title track, "Cara Luna," this collection has no winning get-up, just a few nicely-coordinated numbers and a couple of others that don't have much flair.
Sin Verguenza's better tracks include "Miro a la Luna y Pienso en Tí" ("I Look at the Moon and Think of You"), a melancholy, slow-moving salsa that picks up halfway through via a peppy tempo change; and "Pasos de Gigante," whose whimsical horn section will make listeners want to sing along.
Other songs reflect the band members' nostalgia for their hippie childhood. The banjo sound on "Colores Colores" is reminiscent of Cat Stevens, while "Guerras Perdidas" ("Lost Wars") reflects the Cuban Nueva Trova -- folk jazzed up with son. But Bacilos is more effective when they recycle old musical genres into reflections on modern society. "La Olla" uses the rhythm and justice-based philosophy of reggae to touch on the negative stereotypes Colombians face while trying to get through customs at the airport. And "La Mexicana" is a bourgeois ranchero whose subject, a nine-to-five employee at Citibank with a beachfront apartment, tells a former lover that he has given up binge drinking and attained the American dream, only to find that life isn't fulfilling without her.
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