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Various Artists

Think Global: Salsa

(World Music Network; US: 11 Sep 2007; UK: 10 Sep 2007)

In September, World Music Network released two salsa CDs at once, this one and The Rough Guide to Salsa Clandestina. So (you might be thinking) what’s the difference? The Rough Guide is deliberately more daring, choosing songs that play with the basic salsa sound, while Think Global: Salsa is a solid, reliable compilation for anyone who wants an album that will cheer them up and not ever sound like anything they don’t already imagine salsa to be. In Think Global the compiler’s personality is allowed to interfere as little as possible with the character of the final product—he’s the clear window through which the sun of salsa shines. Trumpets triumph, men sing in bold nightclub voices, and La Verdad whips us into “Nueva York” with a classic run up the piano. There are shag-lounge chimes on Grupo Latin Vibe’s “All That Vibe” but nothing as almost-not-salsa as the klezmer clarinet of the Rough Guide‘s Roberto Rodriguez track. Look to the Rough Guide for dramatic innovation, look here for the unvolatile bedrock.

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