Album: Kinky

Atlas, Sonic 360
Click to follow
The Independent Culture

Last year's eponymous debut from Kinky represented a huge step forward for Mexican pop, confounding the usual ethnic clichés with an unclassifiable stew of poetic electro-pop in which the Latino element was just one of a range of global influences. For this follow-up, the System of a Down producer Thom Russo has given them a heavier, guitar-rock sound which took me a while to warm to, but which has ultimately proven as rewarding as its predecessor. The most immediate effect is to push the busy riffage of "Salta-Lenin-el-Atlas" and disco-funk guitar groove of "Do U Like It?" closer to Santana territory, which isn't necessarily a good thing in their case; but there's enough variety elsewhere - in the streaks of violin in "The Headphonist", the spindly organ and wavery piano figure of "Pos Que Se Vengan", and the deep electro buzz of "My God Is So Quiet" - to hold the listener's attention throughout. Thankfully, the band's poetic world view remains undiminished too, in a series of lyrics evoking diverse senses of displacement: the disorientation of travel in "Airport Feelings"; and the insular, personal-soundtrack sensitivity of "The Headphonist" ("Now the city is my song where I submerge myself"). As the title suggests, there's a world of music in Atlas, carried with an effortless grace and boundless energy by a band on the brink of global success.

Comments