^
Keep Houston Press Free
4

Calle 13: Los de Atras Vienen Conmigo

On its self-titled 2005 debut, Puerto Rican duo Calle 13 was hilarious and musically innovative, vocalist Residente's lyrics poking fun at every aspect of contemporary Latin culture while his cousin Visitante's beats combined reggaeton, hip-hop and funk into a swirling, irresistible groove. Last year's follow-up Residente o Visitante was more thoughtful, guest-heavy and musically broad-minded; if it occasionally stumbled into arty pastiche, overall it was a surefooted, politically aware next step.

Calle's new effort, Los de Atrás Vienen Conmigo (The Ones Left Behind Are Coming with Me), is more fun than its predecessor, with Café Tacuba and Ruben Blades the big-ticket guests this time, Tacuba serving as backing band and chorus on relatively straight love song "No Hay Nadie Como Tú." The seven-minute tropical jam "La Perla" finds Blades not only singing but rapping and holding his own, which may not surprise those familiar with the talk-singing on his own classic '70s albums. Visitante's compositions — calling them "beats" or "tracks" sounds ridiculously reductive — grab sounds from across the globe this time, including New Orleans second-line rhythms and Dixieland on "Gringo Latin Funk," early-'80s electro on "Electro Movimiento," African guitars on "Esto Con Eso" and a crazed Balkan whirl on "Fiesta de Locos."

Though his vulgarity remains unrestrained, Residente's apparently sick of being Latin culture's whipping boy: "Que Lloren" and "Ven y Critícame" are direct responses to critics from within the reggaeton scene and outside. (The chorus of "Que Lloren" translates "I love it when they cry"; the latter's title means "Come and Criticize Me.") Combining the fun of its debut with the follow-up's sonic adventurism, Conmigo is a genre-redefining — if not genre-shattering — triumph. Formerly Latin music's court jesters, Calle 13 have become its future kings. — Phil Freeman

Info

I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Houston and help keep the future of Houston Press free.

Keep the Houston Press Free... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.

 

Join the Press community and help support independent local journalism in Houston.

 

Join the Press community and help support independent local journalism in Houston.