Various Artists

Café Cubana [Metro]

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AllMusic Review by Heather Phares

Metro's world and Latin music compilations vary widely in quality. Some of them feature few or no original versions of the songs they collect, substituting cookie-cutter re-recordings that only give a feeling of what the music is like, instead of presenting the authentic music of the place the album supposedly celebrates. Café Cubana, fortunately, is one of the label's better collections, featuring original versions of 16 songs by Cuban artists such as Beny More, Los Van Van, Septeto Nacional, and Orquesta Aragon. Not surprisingly, these acts provide some of the album's highlights, including More's "Donde Estabas Tu," Los Van Van's "Cuentame," Septeto Nacional's "Crei Que Eras Mia" and Orquesta Aragon's "Son El Son." However, Compay Segundo's "Juramento," Elena Burke's "Amore de Mis Amores," and Omara Portuondo's "Alli" also capture Cuba's passionate sound. Providing plenty of quality as well as quantity, Café Cubana is a thoroughly enjoyable collection, and one of the best that Metro has to offer.

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