Conceived on the Caracas club scene in the early '90s, Venezuela's Los Amigos Invisibles essentially launched a Latin-fueled global dance party that's never waned. In fact, the sextet's latest, Commercial, which won a Latin Grammy for Best Alternative Album, lives up to its name by arguably being LAI's most accessible record, oozing irresistibly funky grooves liberally peppered with fiery spices and doused with melody. There are sleek soul-funk ballads (including one sung in English, the lightweight "In Luv With U"), sly updates of disco and raging workouts where P-Funk meets Prince south of the border. But Los Amigos aren't quite so obvious, harboring a judiciously subversive nature that injects spiraling doses of acid jazz, noirish keyboards, edgy guitars and subtle touches like guest Mexican singer Natalia Lafourcade, whose sultry vocals add another dimension to "Viviré Para Ti." An eclectic array of South American and Caribbean roots surface as well, including soca, dub, samba and merengue, allowing Los Amigos to give their infectious rhythms even more intriguing angles.
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