Reviews

Bachá

Today's Cinderellas scrub the floors to the tropical beat of Latin Grammy nominee Bachá, whose duets inspire dreams of princes and brighter futures. Creators of the theme song for Telemundo's Anita No Te Rajes — a popular soap opera about a poor Mexican immigrant living in Los Angeles — Bachá's Jorge Luis Chacín and Juliana Barrios craft traditional Latin and Caribbean genres in fits of romantic whimsy that recall Dominican merengue king Juan Luis Guerra. The "Anita Theme Song" is a honky-tonk cumbia with a rap encouraging the show's protagonist not to let life's struggles get her down, while "La Cita" is an anxious merengue about the excitement of a blind date. The sensual salsa "Jamás Me Olvidé de Tí" celebrates a long-lost but not-forgotten lover. Other songs are infused with Iberian flair. The pop gypsy tone on "Dejame" ("Let Me") and "Duele Tanto" ("Hurts So Much") sounds a bit like Spain's infamous rock flamenco band Ketama. Then African roots are dug up in the short but mesmerizing a cappella number "Mama," in which Barrios belts out a cry of admiration for a mother who survives on dreams and faith. The duo pours out expressions of love without an ounce of embarrassment and keeps sappiness at bay by melding strong sentiment into a sophisticated variety of Latin instrumentation. So if one bad pumpkin stomps on your feet, chin up, chica — Bachá's peppy style is just the slipper for a dancing good time.

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Julienne Gage is a Miami-based anthropologist and journalist who has worked as a reporter and as a civil rights and international aid communications specialist in the United States, Latin America, the Caribbean, Africa, and Europe. Her fieldwork has exposed her to many forms of cultural expression, and during her master’s in anthropology, she studied at Cuba’s Center for the Investigation and Development of Cuban Music.
Contact: Julienne Gage