Cursi, Circo

Sony/BMG, Puerto Rico ****

Rating: 81
By Carlos Reyes

Circo is the coolest rock band from Puerto Rico (some could debate for Black Guayaba or Polbo), truth is ever since their 2001 debut No todo lo que es pop es bueno they have been a Latin Grammy favorite and are once again nominated for two awards this year. The electroacoustic quartet will be battling Babasonicos, Café Tacvba, Manu Chao and Julieta Venegas; we were shockingly surprised to see Circo among these alternative mavericks. Also unexpected is the band’s interest to work with producer Aureo Baqueiro, known as the man who cleaned up trashy pop and brought a lousy middling wave of accessible pop music. We must say this might be Baqueiro’s best work as a producer and another fine proposal by Circo. Cursi is unique because it stands as their connecting bridge of rock and electronic pursuits, it concretes its vision through furnished synthesizers and gives it a confident attitude of the glam their live performances display. Puerto Rico is still too fresh to sustain a rock scene, in a way Mexico has adopted the band with great acceptance, perhaps because they don’t sound like anything else out there. A few weeks ago while driving with some friends I was playing their single “Alguien” outloud; my brother later asked if that was a new song by Andrea Echeverri or Aterciopelados, I laughed hysterically. Listen carefully and my brother’s comment isn’t so out of proportion, main difference is Fofe’s (vocalist) pitch is an open invitation to dance and less explorative. His pitch and timbre in “Velocidades Luz” is rough and yet so magnificent, here we have one of the best vocalists in Latinoamerican rock, one of the few that display vocal resonance. Leading track “Antes del Fin” was on of my favorite rock songs of 2007 and talks about a man’s wish of one last night of sex before death arrives, “darkness took control over my sins… before you come and look for me I want to destroy myself in other arms.” This deluxe edition includes two new great tracks and some breezy remixes by no other than Marcello Cunning from Nacotheque.

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♫♫♫ "Antes del Fin"