Music » Album Reviews

Chicano Batman's album full of gems


  • Chicano Batman, "Freedom Is Free"
The spirit of late-’60s psychedelic soul is alive in Chicano Batman. On this collection of 12 socially aware originals, the Los Angeles quartet — augmented by an alluring female vocal chorus — makes some of the best music of its career. Musically, Freedom Is Free is an aural travelogue of the styles that inform the group’s unique approach: soul, Brazilian tropicalia and gritty LA funk are just a few of the styles the band puts to use. The silky-smooth vocals of Bardo Martinez are set against inventive arrangements like that found on the sexy groove of “Jealousy.” Even when Martinez occasionally sings in Spanish — as on the kinetic, wah-wah guitar-filled “Flecha al Sol” — the emotional content comes through loud and clear. The title track and single “Friendship (Is a Small Boat in a Storm)” are teasers for an album full of gems.
File next to: War, Mayer Hawthorne, Sly & the Family Stone

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