Various Artists

Salsa del Verano

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On those hot, humid days and nights in the city, there's nothing like salsa music. Not that it cools you off, but it reminds you that other people know what heat is like, and that there are even ways to celebrate it. Salsa del Verano is an album for those moments. With songs from younger stars like Victor Manuelle (whose live version of "La Vida Es un Carnaval" is stunning), Charlie Cruz, Tito Nieves, and Frankie Negron, as well as cuts from Ray Barretto and Héctor Lavoe, the album sizzles with bright, sometimes sultry, tracks that reflect the heat like blacktop. Salsa del Verano's focus is definitely on the new wave of singers who've come from Puerto Rico and New York, so connoisseurs of Fania-era hits will disappointed by the selection, but for fans of the more contemporary sound, or just fans of fun music, the record will be a great accompaniment to any summertime event.

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