Azucar Moreno


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Much of the Latin pop (as opposed to Latin rock) released in the 1990s is so good that it could easily be successful in the English-language market if it weren't for the language barrier. A case in point is Azucar Morena's Bandido, an addictive collection of Latin pop and dance music that, for all its slickness, has a lot of heart. Though one hears Spanish touches on "Noche de Abril," "Canalla" and the haunting single "Ven Devorame Otra Vez" and Afro-Cuban/salsa elements on a remake of Tito Puente's "Oye Como Va," this female duo (whose name is Spanish for "Brown Sugar") wasn't aimed at one particular Latino group. (In contrast to salsa releases that appeal primarily to Cubans and Puerto Ricans or banda and tejano discs made for the Mexican market, pop-oriented CDs like Bandido are marketed to Latinos across the board.) Dance music enthusiasts shouldn't overlook "Cuando El Amor Se Va," a Spanish-language version of "Those Were the Days" (recorded by everyone from the 5th Dimension to Dexter Gordon) that is given an unusual house makeover. Full of surprises, Bandido should not be overlooked.

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