The Salsa Machine, recorded in 1983 at the height of the New York salsa frenzy, reflects the overly polished dance charts of that era. While it bears the unmistakable mark of Rosario's Puerto Rican soul approach to the music, it is nonetheless slicked up with very tight beat-conscious arrangements and chanted and roared vocals, and it thins out the powerful horns that are normally Rosario's trademarks. Everything here is strictly uptempo and the relaxed groove of some of Rosario's best work is absent, save for Ray Santos' arrangement of the Portillo de la Luz and Tito Rodriguez medley "Delirio" and "La Vendedora del Amor." But even here, with the addition of electric guitars in the mix, it feels polished up for a ballroom show rather than played with the deep affecting soul of Rosario's more roots-oriented material. This one is for dancing only.
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AllMusic Review by Thom Jurek