Las Rubias del Norte

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Ziguala Review

by Chris Nickson

It's Latin music, but with a difference. For their third album, New York group las Rubias del Norte have added more musical colors, although their selection of songs is as eclectic as ever, transforming everything not into gold, but into delicious Latin music. Who else, after all, would take a Bollywood song, "Mana Janab Ne Pukara Nahin" and give it a south of the border makeover? And, more than that, make it work. Or transform Kurt Weill's "J'Attends Un Navire" into smoothy Latin lounge with two angelic voices on the top. Those are part of the delights on display, which also includes Latin rembetika (the title cut). The Farfisa they employ on several cuts sounds suitably cheesy, and they're starting to use a few -- albeit very few -- rock textures as part of their sound. Perhaps the most bizarre outing is neo-classical, taking on Bizet's "Seguedille," and sending it all the way to Havana. It's really a showcase for the singers, and it works beautifully in a way the composer had never probably imagined. But that's the way with this band. They can find the Latin in everything.

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