After a successful stint as half of the duo Donato y EstÉfano and after writing innumerable songs for Latin stars, Cuban Donato Poveda kicks off his own solo career with an album whose intimacy

After a successful stint as half of the duo Donato y Estéfano and after writing innumerable songs for Latin stars, Cuban Donato Poveda kicks off his own solo career with an album whose intimacy is almost at odds with the very productions/hits he's known for. Bohemio Enamorado is a sophisticated, fully acoustic album full of improvisational piano and guitar that serve as a base for Donato's plaintive vocals. The mood here is one of candle-lit spaces, with the muted trumpet of "Soñé que Soñaba" a throwback to another time. Bohemio is, at times, too introspective, and the occasional son, including "Serenata Santiaguera," provides a needed alternative to the toned-down surroundings. On the other hand, it's full of gems, such as "Ella y El" and "Maldito Sea," and it forces us to listen beyond the obvious. The clear example is Donato's rendition of "Candela," which was made a hit by Chayanne and here finds a different face with Donato's syncopated vocals, acoustic guitars, and crisp percussion. But "Eres Tú" and its English version, "Loving You, Loving Me"—both featuring Gisselle—are much too overwrought and over-produced for the pristine beauty of this album.—LC