Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

The Meridian Brothers: Devoción (Works 2005-2011) [Staubgold, 2013]
My only context for this obscure best-of, the "band"'s first non-Colombian release, is Tom Zé, like mastermind Eblis Álvarez an adept of the deconstructed Latin groove and arguably its inventor. The "Brothers" were a concept 2005-2011--Danish-trained electronics whiz Álvarez plays and sings every sound on every strange, sprightly track here. His treated voice is more boyish than Zé's ever was, and I wish I understood the lyrics, because I get the feeling every one is waggish or at least smart. Post-2011, however, he assembled a real band so he could play out and hence turn to salsa and tropicalia, where he's less of a find. That's why only this collection grabs me when I dip into his catalogue on nothinglefttolose.com. The best-of--so cool when done right. A-