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Yomo Toro

Celebremos Navidad

  • Ashé

Ostensibly, this is a Christmas album from the master of the Puerto Rican cuatro (10-string guitar). But there's nothing sacred-holiday stodgy about Toro's version. Indeed, aside from “Christmas Song” there are no Christmas-goes-salsa cuts here. Puerto Rican Christmas includes a series of house parties from mid-December on, and Toro likes to keep tempos peppy, which fits his bright, metallic sound. His conversations with horn sections never fail to captivate, and while the vocalists lament the “Christmas Blues,” they are just as likely to celebrate roast pork or denounce a girl's intrusive father. The year's merriest world-music release.

— Milo Miles