BMG Argentina

This eponymous tour de amor by Vicentico, the former leader of Los Fabulosos Cadillacs, is finally appearing in the States over a year after its initial release in Argentina. But anyone hoping for LFC screeds will be disappointed. The haggard bard instead reinvents Latin lounge for the new millennium by combining Frank Sinatra vulnerability with Afro-Latin aplomb. The music on Vicenticoisn't particularly complicated—lots of acoustic guitars, dreamy keyboards, dolorous horns and percussions of every thud and jangle manifested in ballad form. But the results are tearful delights, perfect mood music for an all-night adoration of your beloved. Vicentico's sonnets romantically embrace each chord, and while song titles like "Quisiera" ("I'd Like"), "Vamos" ("Let's Go") and "Cuándo te Vi" ("When I Saw You") suggest something maudlin, his yearning rasp squeezes melancholy and lust out of each syllable. He truly has one of Latin America's great larynxes. Check out the opening track, "Culpable," a warm bossa nova jiggle that finds Vicentico simultaneously celebrating and weeping as he tells his former lover to stay away forever ("Carry your cross/Take on the pain/Until the end/Rancor bites, no?" he wails at the song's conclusion). Lest fans think Vicentico has left his famous call-to-arms tracks with Los Fabulosos, though, out roars the menacing "Se Despierta la Ciudad" ("The City Awakens"), a tale of street urchins backed by apocalyptic horns and jittery mambo-piano slams that accentuate Vicentico's description of the wretched youth of Latin America. Brimming with romance, political commentary and passionate pounding, Vicentico is the type of album that justifies long-delayed releases. (Gustavo Arellano)

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