Celia Cruz

Siempre Vivire

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The question that must be confronted for those familiar with the breadth of her work is, "Is it even possible for Celia Cruz to record a bad album?" With elements such as producer Emilio Estefan, Jr., executive producer Angel Carrasco, and of course, la guarachera del mundo herself converging to create 2000's Siempre Vivire, the answer to that question seems clear. Celia's first album for Sony certainly captured those elements that uniquely belong to Cruz, and discriminatingly avoided any influences of the day that might adulterate those qualities or date the project. In conceiving this record, the creative team walked a very fine line by deciding on a project that could both stand among its contemporary peers and yet sound classic. It is hard in modern salsa to find the tres, a sultry bolero, or to hear plena played well. In a genre that continues to narrow its stylistic scope, it's refreshing to come across a record that can simultaneously be a citizen of the present, and reach to the past. Cruz herself delivers that gutsy, dark molasses tone that is as sweet as the "Azucarrr!" she made famous. Like Celia, Siempre Vivire is of such a high quality that is both a bold challenge for tomorrow and a graceful bow to yesterday.

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