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moon_girl86 @ 08:04 pm: 'Casa' named #2 album of the year in latin music by Chicago Tribune
Congrats to our dear Natalia Y La Forquetina for 'Casa' being named #2 album of the year in latin music. Here is the full list the top 10 albums of the year in latin music.


Much of year's creative sounds came from Latin music

By Ernesto Lechner
Special to the Tribune
Published December 11, 2005

In strict commercial terms, 2005 was the year when reggaeton became the biggest Latin music phenomenon since Ricky Martin lived la vida loca. The bouncy new style -- part Puerto Rican hip-hop, part Panamanian reggae -- dominated the charts alongside the established favorites from the Regional Mexican arena. So it was up to Latin rock to deliver some of the year's most challenging, unconventional and ultimately satisfying records. The fields of Brazilian music, salsa, merengue and Latin jazz also delivered their share of goods, whereas Latin pop continued operating in a creative purgatory of endless bombast and self-complacency.

1. Babasonicos: "Anoche" (Universal Latino)

The fact that Babasonicos has delivered the best Latin album of the year for the second time in a row speaks volumes about the privileged position this Argentine sextet occupies in Latin rock. "Anoche" expands Babasonicos' sonic palette with a punchy collection of 14 straight-to-the-point tunes that combine the crafty melodies of Roxy and Depeche Mode with the primal riffs of vintage Black Sabbath.

2. Natalia Lafourcade: "Casa" (Sony BMG)

"Casa" was a firm candidate for album of the year until Babasonicos returned with a vengeance. Still, no serious Latin music fan should be without this exhilarating sophomore effort by Lafourcade and her three-piece band. With a generous helping of psychedelia and a sprinkle of bossa nova, the record establishes Lafourcade as one of Mexico's most talented new artists.

3. Kevin Johansen + The Nada: "City Zen" (Sony BMG)

The gravelly voiced Johansen has spent most of his life between Argentina and the U.S., which explains the international flavor of this delightful pop record. Johansen loves good music, and he pays tribute to artists as disparate as Sly and the Family Stone, folk pioneer Atahualpa Yupanqui and Brazilian iconoclast Tom Ze. If you're in search of a sunny album to lift you up, look no further.

4. Milton Nascimento: "Pieta" (Savoy Jazz)

During the '70s, Nascimento proved that he was the most visionary Brazilian songwriter since Antonio Carlos Jobim. Then, he lost his touch. But giants always surprise you, and "Pieta" is an epic return to form that sums up this singer's preoccupations: religious fervor, the nature of love and the beauty of the female soul.

5. Michel Camilo: "Solo" (Telarc)

A virtuoso pianist of impeccable pedigree, the Dominican Republic's Camilo has recorded in a wide variety of settings. But he had never made a solo album, and this exquisite collection of velvety originals and heartwarming standards makes you wish he had done it earlier.

6. Liquits: "Jardin" (Surco/Universal Latino)

Like the Lafourcade album, the second effort by this psychedelic Mexican trio has been produced by Emmanuel Del Real. The Tacuba keyboardist's ear for intriguing instrumental flourishes adds a master's touch to this collection.

7. Nortec Collective: "Tijuana Sessions Vol. 3" (Nacional)

Four years after it changed the landscape of Latin music with its pioneering blend of dreamy electronica and banda sinaloense, a revitalized Nortec goes pop on "Tijuana Makes Me Happy" and discovers the joys of replacing its customary samples with live musicians.

8. Grupo Niche: "Alive" (Mega Music/Universal Latino)

Niche's bandleader Jairo Varela has been releasing about an album a year for over two decades now, but his ability to generate unforgettable salsa hits remains unchanged. This is reckless dance music, boasting the volatile tempo changes and nasal vocal choruses that make Colombian salsa so addictive.

9. Maria Rita: "Segundo" (WEA Latina)

A minimalist gem from the daughter of the late Brazilian diva Elis Regina, Maria Rita's debut caused a stir in her homeland a couple of years ago. This follow-up is a more focused and potent affair, coupling her sensuous vocals with the jazzy interaction of a bass/drums/keyboards trio.

10. Various Artists: KCRW -- Sounds Eclectico (Nacional)

A simpatico sampling of live sessions from the studios of Los Angeles' KCRW radio station, this cool compilation will delight Latin Alternative fans with unreleased tracks by the likes of Cafe Tacuba, Julieta Venegas and Manu Chao -- but it also can serve as the ideal introduction for neophytes interested in getting a taste of cutting edge Latin music.



Copyright © 2005, Chicago Tribune

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