Various Artists

Escena Alterlatina: The Future Sound in Espanol

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Judging from most of the Latin music that makes it to the shores of North America, you'd think the Latin genre is filled either grinning pop artists like Ricky Martin or old-school traditionalists like the Buena Vista Social Club. In fact, Latin America produces a wide range of music, some of it the best, most hard-hitting music out there. Escena Alterlatina: The Future Sound in Español is an attempt to compile the best of the rest of Spanish-language music. What is most surprising about the album is the range of music -- L.A.'s Tres Delinquentes offers some Spanglish hip-hop with "Return of the Tres" while rockers Los Mocosos' "Caliente" offers some funk alongside members of the Tower of Power horns. Meanwhile, Panama's Los Rabanes play some fierce dancehall reggae with "My Commanding Wife." Covering such a wide variety of music, Escena Alterlatina suffers from a lack of focus, but most of the music has so much flavor, you're willing to forgive the album of its eccentricities.

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