Anyone who has spent the past couple of years under the spell of
the Buena Vista Social Club has probably wished for a solo release
from Ibrahim Ferrer, the vocalist from that pathbreaking effort.
After years of backup singing for the likes of Beny Mor?, Ferrer's
time in the global spotlight has finally (and deservedly) arrived.
Supported by many of the same players featured on 1997's Buena
Vista Social Club, he cruises through an impressive array of island
dance styles (guajiras, sons, boleros) with little apparent effort,
but with passion galore. Ferrer's voice has the faded yet sumptuous
coloration of the abandoned mansions of Havana. To hear his
weathered pipes mated with producer Ry Cooder's tremoloed guitar is
to know bliss, simply put. In fact, Ferrer's torchy performance on
'Herido de Sombras' ('A Broken Shadow'), with its delectable
violins and Cooder twanging like Duane Eddy, is the centerpiece of
what might be the ultimate premillennial make-out music. World
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