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World Music CD Reviews Greater Latin America

Various Artists

By Ernest Barteldes
Published April 24, 2007

Radio Latino
Putumayo

As it so often goes with compilations, Radio Latino offers a mixed bag of Latin pop, from Bebe’s lovely electronic-infused “Men Señara” (a pun on “Teach Me”) to the Brazilian-influenced beats of Los Pinguas, who borrow from Bahia on their “Cielo Escarlata” (Red Sky). The best moments on the records come from Cuban musicians, who blend pop influences with the native sounds of their island. When listening to Kelvis Ochoa’s “Viento Y Tiempo” (Time And Wind), he seems to go all over the place as the tune runs, blending African acoustic guitars and electric wah-wahs atop a frenetic salsa beat, while the Orishas’ “Reina de Calle” (Queen Of The Street) draws inspiration from hip-hop without exactly wandering into reggaeton territory. The mix of samba and salsa on Costa Rica’s “Por Estos Mares” (Through These Seas) and Sacha Nairobi’s ode to penniless love on “Princesa” is also well worth checking out.