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Navegante

Microcosmos

(Rebel Ship/Fun Machine; US: 19 Jun 2009; UK: 19 Jun 2009)

Cuatro player and Navegante founder Jean Shepherd turns Microcosmos into a surge of electro bop ‘n’ strut, incorporating bits of hip hop, Latin America, rock and dance, all of it stormy, exciting and unrelaxed until the album hits “Tú” and slows down to spend a few minutes being soothing with a piano. Shepherd has a good feel for the emotional narrative of a song, the ways in which changes in pace and volume can alter the tension and make the listener want to know what will happen next. There are a few low points—he seems to be treading water in “Ya Verás”—but the sound of men feeling cocky about their own extroversion is very palatable.

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