Various Artists

Boleros en Dos Gardenias

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As you might expect from its subtle title, this set from Egrem is a collection of romantic, yearning boleros. Rendered by the likes of Omara Portuondo, Lino Borges, Héctor Téllez, and Manolo del Valle, the album's 21 songs feature traditional arrangements on real instruments. Fernándo Alvarez's version of "Si No Eres Tu" is broken down to the barest piano accompaniment, while Anais Abreu's voice rises and falls like the sea to give "Fiebre de Ti" that perfect -- and perfectly heartbreaking -- feel. Boleros en Dos Gardenias is swollen with the international language, surging with the natural emotion of the best Latin music.

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