This list includes great new offerings from established artists like Shakira, Juanes and Marc Anthony as well as musical jewels from relative newcomers like Bebe and Bacilos. In fact, there were so many great albums released that it was hard to stop at just 10.
Rock rhythms, ballads, social commentary and even a lullaby is what you'll find on this current CD by Colombian artist Juanes. Crossover artists from the Latin music world have usually made the move by releasing an album in English; Juanes may be the only Latin artist to do it in Spanish. Listen to the album and you'll know why.
Colombian pop queen Shakira has delivered a 'two-fer' with the release of Oral Fijacion Vol.1 in Spanish followed a few months later with Oral Fijacion Vol.2 in English. It was tough deciding which to recommend, since they are both well worth listening to, but I decided on Vol.2 because I really like the extra punch she delivers.
Miami-based Bacilos' new CD is a mix of Brazilian, Columbian and Puerto Rican influencs fused with more modern pop/rock sounds. That's because the trio is comprised of Colombian singer/songwriter Jorge Villamizar, Brazilian bassist Andre Lopes and Puerto Rican percussionist Jose Javier Freire. Some songs are more rock and others more Latin influenced, but all in all, a listening pleasure.
The big surprise at the 2005 Latin Grammys was five nominations for - up until then - a relatively obscure Spanish singer/songwriter from the Valencia area of Spain. This is only her second album, and it's difficult to describe the unexpected alt-latin sound (since the label 'flamenco-pop' doesn't really come close). The tracks are sometimes edgy, sometimes sweet, sometimes rockin' and always musically interesting.
This is the second album by Puerto Rican Bermudez. A New Jersey native since he was a teen, Bermudez took some time off to work in a Bronx laundromat, and his impressions have been pressed on to his new pop CD.
Colombian Carlos Vives' new CD is just simply sensational. Full of wonderful rock fused with vallenato and cumbia, this album is destined to become a classic. Vives wrote all the tracks on this album.
Fernandez and his father, Vincente, recently got adjoining stars on Hollywood's "Walk of Fame'. Firmly rooted in the traditional ranchera style of music, Alejandro's new album blends ranchera with a smooth pop sound. This is his first Latin pop album in five years.
Guatemalan Ricardo Arjona has a wonderful voice and a lustrous, flowing sound. My Spanish-speaking friends have said that he is a true folk poet and its a shame I can't fully appreciate the lyrics. I don't care. I really like the music.
Anthony's lush, orchestral new album is his first since 2002's Mended and his first Spanish language Latin pop CD.
Mexican alt-rocker Julietta Venegas changes directions from her two earlier albums. From moody, introspective slow rock Venegas' new album delivers a brighter, upbeat pop sound. The reason? She learned how to look at the bright side of things.