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World Music CD Reviews Greater Latin America

BERSUIT VERGARABAT

By Ramiro Burr
Published September 13, 2005

La Argentinidad al Palo
Surco/Universal Latino

Helmed by noted producer Gustavo Santaolalla, this 13-track Stateside debut is a free-rocking set from Argentinean group Bersuit Vergarabat that brings together worldbeat rhythms, guitars, accordions and violins and irreverent, profanity-laced songs both political and romantic. Originally produced as a double album, this material was culled from more than 100 songs and whittled down to 24 tracks and released on two CDs in Argentina. The disco-y, electronic opening track, "Cojer no Es Amor," makes the argument that superficial relationships are sometimes preferable. The title track is a frenetic ska-laced, guapango-flavored ode to Argentinean pride. The group turns nostalgic on "Al Olor del Hogar," and takes a page from Juanes' rhythmic vallenato rock on "El Baile de La Gambeta." They fuse electronica and rock rhythms with saloon sentiment on "La Soledad," where the narrator details the desperation of the hours before the dawn. Despite their free-ranging genre-bending, this coherent work demonstrates that Bersuit are not your typical world beat rockeros.