Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

Ricardo Lemvo and Makina Loca: Retrospectiva [Mopiato Music, 2009]
The ineffable grace of Isabela never takes over here--some tracks are too poky, others too punchy. Nevertheless, this collection of reconceived Lemvo warhorses suggests that Isabela was a turning point. What was once a likable, entertaining world-music pastiche has coalesced into a fully realized pan-rumba. I didn't say pan-salsa, now--the brass isn't obstreperous enough. My Puerto Rican nephew tells me that sometimes Lemvo's clave is off. That could be part of his charm. A-