Hits a la Fiesta

Roberto Delgado

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Hits a la Fiesta Review

by Laurie Mercer

Hits a la Fiesta is exactly as it sounds, a reworking of late-'70s pop and disco hits in a Latin manner, à la Roberto Delgado. Easy to dismiss but hard to dislike, it displays all the Delgado hallmarks -- stolid performances and arrangements, compelling Latin percussion, and dynamic horn parts, Ladi Geisler's compelling knack bass and Horst Wende's proficient mallet work. What brings it down is the songs: late-'70s pop was more style than substance, a sonic simple-minded wasteland that deserved to be trampled beneath the emerging styles of punk, new wave, and alternative rock. Delgado has always been adept at tarting up sweet and simple melodies and does his work capably here, but reworking such dross as "Daddy Cool" or "Da Doo Ron Ron" only results in uber-dreck, no matter how well done. The three ABBA covers are theoretically a perfect platform for Geisler's patented knack bass style, but they really only serve to remind us of the dull banality of commercial disco music. Still, it's impossible to really hate the record, as there are moments when the sheer ability and talent of this ensemble emerge and entertain the unskilled listener. More trivial than essential, Hits a la Fiesta is a piece of processed sliced cheese from the Delgado larder, maybe a guilty pleasure for those whose appetites go in that direction, but unflavored and non-nutritious for those with a more refined musical diet.

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