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When one realizes that the word "America" refers to three continents, several languages, and about a million ways to get down, the meaning of "American music" begs another look. With their dance amalgam of sound that is equal parts Oscar d'León salsa, Goo Goo Dolls rock, and Jamiroquai disco-funk, Venezuela's national treasure Guaco may be one of the very first all-American band. The only criteria that seems to be applied to their selection of influences is sheer danceability. The 2002 release of Galapando certainly lives up to the strong, energy-infused implications of its name. Backed up by their trademark salsa-funk groove, the bandmembers share the vocal responsibilities, keeping the sound fresh and listeners on their toes. Guaco masterfully rides the line between pop sensibility and Latin jazz complexity. Galapando is both incredibly engaging and yet as likeable as cerveza on a hot day. For a band that has been around in some assortment or another since the '60s, Guaco has a vital quality that many fresh voices can't muster. Having spent quite awhile capitalizing on their strengths, and smoothing out any weaknesses, Guaco offers a distilled, high-proof elixir. Galapando is nothing short of liquid joy.

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