After mining Latin American music for inspiration for the past 15 years, Enrique Bunbury finally decided to pay a full-fledged tribute to one of his main and most beloved influences. Recorded in Texas with Bunbury's fine supporting band Los Santos Inocentes and special guests of the caliber of Flaco Jiménez, Charlie Musselwhite, Dave Hidalgo, and Elíades Ochoa, Licenciado Cantinas is meant to be a barroom-hopping trip from Argentina to Mexico. Old classics from the Pan-American songbook by Agustín Lara, Los Hermanos Simón, Pablo Casas Padilla, Atahualpa Yupanqui, and Willie Colón and Héctor Lavoe are given a heady cross-genre treatment, reminiscent of similar albums by Ry Cooder or Marc Ribot. Salsa, bolero, Peruvian vals, tango, and corrido are infused with steamy electric guitars, Hammond organ, and percussion to conjure a crawling, drunken mood that perfectly suits Bunbury's voice and bohemian image.
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AllMusic Review by Mariano Prunes