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ALBUM REVIEW : ‘No Se Parece’ Shows Albita as a Refreshing Vocal Force : ALBITA “No Se Parece a Nada”; <i> Crescent Moon/Epic</i> ***

It’s easy to see why this Cuban singer is Latin pop’s latest hot item. Her well-crafted songs--several of which she wrote or co-wrote--are a rich blend of virtually all the features of traditional pre-salsa, pre-revolution Cuban folk, without the usual cheap shots at Fidel.

Most of all, here is a female Cuban singer with the voice of a male tango singer from Argentina and a tight orchestra of mainly female musicians, making for a refreshing new force in the world of Latin music. Too bad producer Juan R. Marquez and executive producer Emilio Estefan settled for just a good commercial album when they had the tools to make a spectacular one. Advice to Albita: Include more of your own songs and get a producer as edgy as yourself.

New albums are rated on a scale of one star (poor), two stars (fair), three stars (good) and four stars (excellent).


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