Víctor Manuelle

Decisión Unámine

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Puerto Rican salsa god Victor Manuelle takes his audience by surprise with his 2006 release Decisión Unámine. Just when you thought that this guy couldn't get any better, the writing couldn't get catchier, the arrangements funkier, or Manuelle himself sound any stronger, a label change and one salsero's steely determination breaks all expectations. Covering wider musical territory than in past efforts, including rollicking samba breakdown sections and slinky Santana-esque Latin rock cha chas, there is a bit of the unexpected around every corner. His move from longtime label Sony Discos to Norte is a surprising shift, which may or may not have a relationship to Manuelle's seemingly renewed vigor and creativity. With some notable guests, including Eddie Palmieri, Domingo Quiñones, and Cheo Feliciano, Manuelle's place at the head of the salsa family's table has become clear. Not many artists get salsa legends to sing coro on their record. Decision Unamine is a bold statement both in its title and in the punch that it packs. This could be the year's finest commercial salsa release. The ballots are in, the votes have been counted, and the decision is unanimous.

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