Independiente, Argentina ****
By Carlos Reyes
If the guys and gals from Quiero Club were to take their Nueva America down to Argentina, they would sound even more from Monterrey than they actually do. Los Labios are their musical siblings, different wear and genre but outlining the same silhouette and character of where latin alternative pop wants to go. To any Mexican or anyone from North America, Los Labios could easily be part of Regional Mexican radio and highly popular music channels like Bandamax or Teleritmo. They fit more into the popular music of Latinoamerica, than the new wave of neo-cumbia leaded by Zizek and company. Thing is, these guys are so accessible and infectious that they are like a hybrid between Limite and Miranda! The comparisons with fellow cumbieras Kumbia Queers will not surprise anyone, but Los Labios has this pedestrian vibe and immediate charm to spice up anyone’s misfortune. Cumbia Lulu consists of five irresistible pieces, they’re all mellow anthems about love, but don’t let them scare you so quickly, this is where unpretentiousness pays off, resulting in pure genuine and sincere music. I can already see dozens of girls singing along to opener “Abrazo Magico”, it’s radio-friendly and Los 40 Principales material, and that makes it delightfully kitsch. “Bus Estacion” is a summer hit, refreshingly naïf and yet so conscious of its limitations that it doesn’t drown in its shallow lyrics. “Calesita” is definitely lousy, but play it loud enough and the any signal of lousiness washes away because after all, these are songs for the dance floor. Although they might be pushing for “Bus Estacion” to be the single, I would suggest the nostalgically and fluorescent “Luna Llena”, it’s got the sparks of of a pop hit: “no hay tormento ni rencon en el amor, solo hay que bailarlo al ritmo del corazon.” It’s a confident work, but I bet they don’t even care to show an ounce of security, they just want to feel some love, and I’m giving them some and a whole lot more. Cumbia Lulu is the first EP to visit our Best New Music corner this year, we’re glad to have you back little man.