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!Salsa!

(Putumayo; US: 24 Mar 2009)

Putumayo’s renowned compilation series continues with a lot of hip-shaking, sassy sounds from some of the finest American and Latin America salsa artists. And this 10-song collection gets off on the right hip, er, foot with “Volver, Volver” performed by Grupo Gale. The mood gets a bit more romantic and sexy with the lighter, groovy “El Shing-A-Ling” by Poncho Sanchez fuelled by some nice piano work and the obligatory brass. Highlights? Well there are aplenty, from the gorgeous Tito Puente-meets-Los Lobos hues of Chico Alvarez’ “Rumba En El Solar” to the equally delightful but retro style fueling the flute-tinged “Son al Son” by Orquesta Aragon featuring Cheo Feliciano. While it might be the kind of album perfect for background music while having friends over, this record is perhaps best when listening from start to finish, thus appreciating the almost hypnotic allure and attraction of this genre. The fact gems like “Naco en la Barriada” with its give and take from Fruko y Sus Tesos round things out only makes you want to hit repeat, thereby joyously leading down the road to hip replacement surgery at some point.

Rating:

Originally from Cape Breton, MacNeil is currently writing for the Toronto Sun as well as other publications, including All Music Guide, Billboard.com, NME.com, Country Standard Time, Skope Magazine, Chart Magazine, Glide, Ft. Myers Magazine and Celtic Heritage. A graduate of the University of King's College, MacNeil currently resides in Toronto. He has interviewed hundreds of acts ranging from Metallica and AC/DC to Daniel Lanois and Smokey Robinson. MacNeil (modestly referred to as King J to friends), a diehard Philadelphia Flyers fan, has seen the Rolling Stones in a club setting, thereby knowing he will rest in peace at some point down the road. Oh, and he writes for PopMatters.com.


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