A throwback to simpler times – the European novelty hit that spreads across the continent, sparking the dry tinder of holiday nostalgia, reaching Britain in time for bonfire season. Family act Las Ketchup were recruited by Spanish producer Manuel Ruiz for just this effect, and the project was ludicrously successful – an ongoing career for the Munoz sisters and a debut LP which shifted an eye-popping 12 million copies. Four of its eleven tracks are incarnations of “Asereje”: the days of Boney M, and the dance group as steady hitmaker, are long gone. You only get one shot.

It’s a decent, if cynical, shot too. “Asereje” is a featherlight piece of Latin pop which makes me ask the standard question – why don’t we see this stuff more often on Popular? – and then provides the answer itself. This is Latin pop for a cultural context where Spanish isn’t the continent’s dominant language, it’s what Northern Europeans garble when they’re trying to flirt with a hot waiter. The intentionally scrambled chorus is the same in “Spanish”, “English” and “Spanglish” versions, “Rapper’s Delight” put through a Euroblender and coming out as half-understood beach-bar babble. It gets annoying in medium doses, but by that time you’re hooked and learning the dance moves. A hard-working hit on every level, and a carefully-built throwaway – even the nonsense controversy (it’s about the devil!) feels like it could have been part of the plan.

Score: 5

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