Known for its syncopated percussion and slick guitar arpeggios, bachata -- a colorful form of dance native to the Dominican Republic that utilizes the heartache, joy, and betrayal of Portuguese fado music, the romantic pulse of bolero, and the saucy soul of merengue -- is explored in depth on The Rough Guide to Bachata. Compiling tracks from some of the region's finest "bachateros," this collection stands out from other samplers by pairing its excellent selections with equally intoxicating liner notes that not only chronicle the performers but the history of the genre itself; a CD-ROM featuring an in-depth interview with compiler Joan Shenton is just icing on the cake. Fans looking for a decent entry point into the world of bachata will find much to love here.
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AllMusic Review by James Christopher Monger