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Gypsy Kings
Pasajero
Nonesuch

By Ernest Barteldes

Published September 28, 2007

After two decades on the road, you’d think this group would simply put another record in the machine and go on tour, but that’s definitely not the case here. Sure, the guitar-rich, flamenco sounds are still the Kings’ dominant mode, but there are quite a few surprises, as the band has sought inspiration in Latin American folk music this time out. Of particular interest to longtime fans and neophytes alike are the acoustic reggae-inflected “Pueblos” (which could have been recorded by Maná), and the cheerful “Café,” which features producer Phillipe Eidel on accordion. The raw energy of “Chan Chan” and the poignant, funk-based “La Vida De Gipsy,” which closes the disc, are also notable. Romantics will enjoy the simplicity of “Amor” (Love) and “Donde Esta Mi Amor” (Where Is My Love?). The Kings’ voices are a bit thicker after many years, but they retain the enthusiasm of their early days.

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