Gozo Poderoso

Long a critically acclaimed band, Colombia's Aterciopelados has—commercially speaking—failed to live up to its numerous write-ups.

Long a critically acclaimed band, Colombia's Aterciopelados has—commercially speaking—failed to live up to its numerous write-ups. By bringing together the best of this band's qualities under one umbrella, Gozo Poderoso may break the jinx. Thanks to a heady mix of music and message, this new set manages to elevate the listener to a different place. Melodies, often muddled on Aterciopelados' previous Caribe Atómico, soar here on the sensuous "Rompecabezas" and the catchy single, "El Album." Also present is Héctor Buitrago and Andrea Echeverri's seamless merging of traditional Colombian instrumentation ("La Misma Tijera") with electronica ("A Su Salud) and psychedelia (the title track, actually one of the disc's weaker links). Beyond the music, in its lyrics and emotion, Gozo transmits a profound sense of hope. Echeverri may have cried while recording "Luto," a dirge for Colombia, but in doing so, she has shown that someone cares.—LC