EhMarch 9, 2014By Joe S. See All My Reviews"Best of Latin America states in its program notes that, excepting indigenous music, [A]ll Latin American music has one thing in commonits Hispanic heritage. I can go a little bit further about two other commonalities I found in this album. 1. Unapologetic integration of synthesized sounds Some tracks sound like theyre entirely done on a really good keyboard. I was confused by these sounds at first, but they pervade the whole album, and I guess you get used to it. When you combine the synthesized sounds with the variety of real instruments featured, you get this very interesting cocktail of sound throughout the album. Accordion solos, mallet features, the trumpet duo you might expect from mariachi bands, and many others pop up. Its a really interesting grab-bag of sound. 2. Non-western ideas Weird tempo changes, rhythmic ideas, and harmonic changes pervade in a way that you dont hear in American pop music. Its refreshing and cool. You can really expect the unexpected throughout this album. This album tries to cover a lot of ground, featuring music from 14 countries on its 15 tracks. This isnt really a good album for getting too DEEP into anything, but its not what its designed for. Many tracks sound like they could be playing from a street vendors stereo on the streets of Mexico. Whether or not thats a good thing is up to you. For me, this album is an interesting thing to put on at a party for ambience, but I wont be spending much more time with it when this review is done."Report Abuse
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