Like fellow salseros Oscar De Leon, Ruben Blades and Willie Colon, Omar Alfanno is quite the storyteller. Whether his subject matter is light or serious, the Panamanian singer/composer can usually be counted on to tell meaningful, memorable stories with plenty of heart and insight. Comparable to Blades & Colon's mega-hit "Pedro Navaja," the riveting title song describes a barrio bad boy's violent end at the hands of authorities. Elsewhere, Alfanno (who wrote all of the lyrics on this exciting CD) sings about everything from his grandmother ("Abuela") to the events surrounding a young woman's wedding ("La Boda de Ana") to the variety of cultures enriching the Caribbean ("Caribe"). But as much admiration as Alfanno's lyrics inspire among Spanish speakers, one needn't speak a word of Spanish to appreciate Joe De Barrio, for Alfanno's inspired melodies and singing also say a lot.
AllMusic Review by Alex Henderson