Bacilos lit up ’03 airwaves with “Mi Primer Millon,” name-checking Paulina Rubio and Alejandro Sanz in a scrappy, semi-serious attempt to get their little acoustic song “en la radio.” It worked, and they went on to win three Grammys, hire two big-shot producers for the follow-up, and name-check one Olivia Newton-John, which, if you’re not a math whiz, adds up to “world crossover domination.”
Well, maybe. Based in Miami, these guys have roots, and for the CD’s first half they know how to use them. Thick, meaty samba grooves bounce against the group-sung melodies of the first two tunes, and a multitracked trombone salsas up the first single, “Pasos de Gigante.” “La Mexicana” is a loosey-goose ranchero send-up of culture clash that, like Rubio’s “The Last Goodbye,” crams in way too many words for absolutely swinging results. Better yet, the roots go both ways. Thanks to a head-nodding soul beat and a beautiful guitar riff, “En la 70’s,” the Olivia song, is the most convincing soft-rock revival of the year. If the second half comes up short on such memorable moments, maybe that’s where Bacilos can invest their segundo millon next time.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on December 28, 2004