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I adore albums with great opening moments. Examples of this would be Pink Floyd’s The Wall as a sweet accordion gives way to David Gilmour’s thunderous guitar, or U2’s The Joshua Tree begins with soft keyboards leading to the pulsating rhythm of “Where the Streets Have No Name.” Sonidos Gold kicks off with a percussive groove followed by an eruption of horns that find their way to a joyful riff.

The strength of GF has always been their live shows. This new release goes a long way into capturing the vibe of a live performance. There is no slick overproduction going on, just a basic “this is how we sound” approach. It worked perfectly for this band, a collection of musicians that excel at what they do. As co-founder Adrian Quesada proclaimed, “It’s the definitive Grupo Fantasma album, the one we’ve wanted to make since the beginning.”

This album is not only an accurate snapshot of the group, but is also accessible to many. Listeners of Latin, jazz, and pop can all make it their current favorite. It’s also a bit funky, as “Arroz Con Frijoles” reminded me a lot of the Meters. Despite that accessibility, it should also be popular with current fans.

9 Daisy Stars!

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