Alma Caribeña (Caribbean Soul), Gloria Estefan's third Spanish-language album, is another assured, varied effort in the tradition of its predecessors, Mi Tierra (1993) and Abriendo Puertas (1995), both of which were popular successes. The album is a virtual tour of the Caribbean Islands, not only presenting styles from the singer's native Cuba but also from other Latin American countries. Much of the record has a traditional feel with acoustic instruments prominent, but that doesn't prevent a wide range of rhythms and musical approaches from being used. Salsa, son, murga, bolero, bachata, and Afro-Cuban styles are mixed, sometimes several in one song. Estefan sings with assurance and is joined for one song each by Latin music forbears Celia Cruz and José Feliciano. Though the album is intensely rhythmic, there is little for the singer's dance audience until the end, when a remix of the first single, "No Me Dejes de Querer (Don't Stop Loving Me)," provides the requisite dancefloor entry.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by William Ruhlmann