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Charanga Cakewalk Loteria De La Cumbia Lounge

Michael Ramos has played with his share of pop-friendly musicians (including Paul Simon and John Mellencamp), so it‘s unsurprising that his debut solo album, though an original mix of traditional and modern, Mexican and urban, playful and sincere, at least leans toward pop. Based on cumbia-a Colombian folk-music style-Ramos‘ results are new nonetheless, as on the kitschy "Carmela" and standout "Charanga Cakewalk," which excellently blends Spanish guitar, accordion, and piano with synths. Less desperately passionate than the tango, heavier than the airy joy of bossa, the album still brings the substance to satisfy.

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