Sandra Luna

Tango Varón

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AllMusic Review by Chris Nickson

Far from the cheesy sound of much tango, Sandra Luna introduces real passion and heartbreak into the music, revitalizing a genre that -- apart from Astor Piazzolla's new tango -- has seemed moribund for too long. It's a bravura vocal display, to be sure, but the support, especially from the string section, with excellent arrangements, frames her perfectly, giving a brave dignity to the music. She's at her best on the slower material such as "Lejana Tierra Mía" or "Duella Criollo" (with its superb guitar accompaniment), where the tango takes on the emotional depth of Portuguese fado and Luna truly shines. She transmits sadness perfectly, in small vocal gestures that go directly to the soul. For the most part she steers clear of the traditional bandoneon (except for the lovely "Ché Bandoneón," where instrument and voice play off each other to wonderful effect) for a fuller sound that suits her well. Luna might just prove to be the figure to propel tango into the new century, and to bring it, reenergized and soulful, into the mainstream of world music. That she's a star is beyond doubt, and in her hands the music sparkles.

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