Los Chicos con las Chicas/Dame un Poco de Amor

by: Los Bravos

Like virtually all non-Americans who had some international success, Los Bravos released albums in different forms than those LPs that were available in the U.S. This Spanish CD compilation combines two such albums, 1967's Los Chicos con las Chicas and 1968's Dame un Poco de Amor, into one disc. Los Chicos con las Chicas might stick out a little to non-Spanish listeners for the inclusion of four Spanish-sung tracks, though the other eight songs are rendered in English. The Spanish tunes tend to be on the less rocking and more sentimental side. For the English ones, however, it's business as usual for Los Bravos, supplying workmanlike pop/rock with a blue-eyed soul tint. The production could almost pass for American, but with a bit of a ska/bluebeat feel, perhaps owing to their greater proximity to the U.K. There's not much of a change on Dame un Poco de Amor, besides the beats loosening up a little from the insistent rhythm so familiar from their big hit, "Black Is Black," and the admission of just a bit of influence from late-'60s pop and psychedelia into the arrangements. That's especially noticeable in the occasional bursts of raga-ish fuzz guitar in "I'll See You Through" and the wah-wah heard in "Dime Donde Estoy" (one of the few Spanish-language songs), though otherwise it doesn't deviate much from Los Bravos' previous outings. But aside from the cover of the Easybeats' "Bring a Little Lovin'," there's little on this compilation that grabs the ear, even though much of it seems to be produced with the same mindset used in trying for hit singles. It sounds kind of like mid- to late-'60s Gene Pitney using a more rock-oriented backing than he usually did. ~ Richie Unterberger

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