Various Artists

Sounds Eclctico (Nacional Records)

Sounds Ecléctico isn't the first compilation to try to translate the Latin alternative spirit for a wider English-speaking audience, but rarely has the case been made as clearly or as forcefully as it has here. Featuring an all-star lineup and recorded at Santa Monica's KCRW, Sounds Ecléctico juxtaposes the electric delicacy of Café Tacuba and Kinky's techno-rock intensity with acoustic songs via French-Spanish icon Manu Chao (performing "Clandestino"), Uruguayan songwriter Jorge Drexler ("El Pianista del Gusto de Varsovia"), and ethereal Argentine singer Juana Molina ("Insensible"). Both approaches are equally adept at conveying the music's pervading fervor, and the album brims with passion. It's the sort of raw power that will grip you even if you don't speak the language.

 
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