This Spanglish Flies

By: José Manuel Simián

Boogaloo, that most overlooked of Latin genres, has been having quite the renaissance lately.

It's not only been about the release of the documentary We Like It Like That, or the concerts that have put the spotlight back on some of the genre's legends.

Boogaloo has been given a new life by younger generations: most recently, the Geko Jones remixes for Ralfi Pagan's 1969 album Latin Soul, boogaloo-infused tracks in albums like the debut of Pelirroja or Chicha Libre's "El Carnicero de Chicago."

But few bands devote their work completely to the infectious mix of son montuno, mambo and soul like New York's own Spanglish Fly.

The band recently released New York Boogaloo, a vibrant sophomore effort.

Things start strangely with "Esta Tierra," a take on Woody Guthrie's classic "This Land Is Your Land" that keeps changing gears and genres, and never manages to convince. But things start taking off on the third track, "Return of the Po-Po," a more classic boogaloo, that keeps building in energy and connects through its NYC-specific lyrics (open container, anyone?), while giving vocalist Erica Ramos the room to deliver them with cocktail lounge gusto.

Similar displays of great musical taste and energetic delivery take place on "Mira Ven Acá," "42 (El Cuarenta y Dos)" (a tribute to Mariano Rivera),"Me Gusta Mi Bicicleta" and the show-stopping closer "Brooklyn Boogaloo." 

May this party keep going for a long time.

José Manuel Simián is the Executive Editor of Manero. He used to be a lawyer and is probably listening to Bob Dylan as you read this.