Diego Torres

Diego Torres: MTV Unplugged

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It is one of the beautiful ironies of MTV's UNPLUGGED series that the artists who perform on the program often sound fuller, clearer, and more distinctive in an acoustic context than they do "plugged in." This is certainly the case for Argentinean superstar Diego Torres, whose live set for the video network was released in 2004 on an album titled, simply, MTV UNPLUGGED. While Torres's studio albums are slick affairs that highlight his Latin-based world fusion with production flourishes, UNPLUGGED showcases his songcraft, sultry singing, and performing flair with clarity and precision.

The success of the UNPLUGGED series is often the result of stripped-down instrumentation. This is not the case with Torres, however--he is backed by keyboards, guitars, background singers, an accordion, a bandoneon, horns, and a full string section. The band teases out hints of rhumba, flamenco, and contemporary pop throughout, but wraps the whole in a cohesive sophistication perfectly suited to Torres's seductive voice. The result is a fully fleshed-out studio sound without any processed sheen, so that the romantic, lilting feel of Torres's music can shine through unhindered.

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