Billboard (p.41) - "The well-placed beats and endearing whimsical style are sure to fire up any mood."
Personnel: Daniel Pacheco (vocals, guitar); Andrés Barrios (vocals, clarinet); Julio Briceño, Armando Lovera Rada (vocals, percussion); José Luis Pardo (guitar); Eddie Cordero, Rhomy López, Ollantay Velásquez, Marián Gutiérrez, Amanda Ochoa (violin); Otto Rodríguez, Mónica Gómez (viola); María José Romero, Juan Pablo Méndez (cello); Nadje Noorhius (trumpet); Isaac Kaplan (trombone); Armando Figueredi (keyboards, background vocals); Juan Manuel Roura (drums, background vocals); Mauricio "Maurimix" Arcas (percussion, background vocals).
Recording information: Cutupra Studios, New York, NY; Faultline Studios, San Francisco, CA; Fountain Studio, Paris; Sala De Máquinas, Caracas; Sunny Studios, Miami, FL; Teatro Teresa Carreño.
Director: Alvaro Paiva Bimbo.
Repeat After Me is Los Amigos Invisibles' sixth recording overall, and their third for Nacional. While the band's "new gozadera" sound remains, the level of sophistication at work here was only hinted at on their previous two offerings for the label. The Venezuelan sextet combines grooves that push the envelope of songwriting, arranging, and production at every turn. While Commercial and Not So Commercial utilized inspirations from Daft Punk to Prince's Paisley Park, the inspirations on Repeat After Me reach back further -- toward the soulful funk of the mid- to late '70s, smooth disco, and Latin soul, with just enough lithe rock to expand the dynamics. "La Que Me Gusta"'s intro bassline is swiped straight from the Supremes' "You Can't Hurry Love," but the melody is less urgent, modern, warmer, a new breed of Latin soul. By contrast," "Sex Appeal" is pure wonky funk. "Río Porque No Fue un Sueño" melds Isley Brothers groove, Leroy Hutson's seductiveness, and Santana's guitar soloing circa Caravanserai and Welcome. With "Stay," a desperate, broken love song and the set's longest cut, the funk remains, but it's spacy, nocturnal, and emotive. The participation of the swinging trio Los Hermanoes Naturales on "Mostro" adds wild, scattershot gypsy jazz to the proceedings to boot. Throughout, the horn and string arrangements on some of the aforementioned cuts, or the fingerpopping -- not to mention hilarious -- "Reino Animal," expand the colorful palette of sounds and layered textures found on the set. Disco gets a real hearing on the largely instrumental "Robot Love" and the dancefloor banger "Invisible Love," near the album's end where the strings are straight out Barry White and the synths are pure Giorgio Moroder, all woven through this killer neo-Latin soul frame. Despite the obvious influential references, Los Amigos Invisibles are able to stretch and morph them into something completely their own. This is due in no small part to Julio Briceño's vocals. No matter the music's intensity, he manages to add this loose, laid-back feel to every utterance -- whether he is singing in Spanish or English -- that makes the party roll at a simmering heat. José Luis Pardo's production and mix are equal partners with the band in this creation. Together they make Repeat After Me another step up the creativity ladder for Los Amigos Invisibles. ~ Thom Jurek