Following his much acclaimed, and very beautiful, albums of trio Los Panchos material, using the original Los Panchos recordings, JosÉ Luis Rodríguez (El Puma), returns to nostalgia with

Following his much acclaimed, and very beautiful, albums of trio Los Panchos material, using the original Los Panchos recordings, José Luis Rodríguez (El Puma), returns to nostalgia with Champagne, an album that revisits mostly French hits of the '60s and '70s. It's an approach also recently taken by Spanish singer Dyango, although the only track in common is "Venecia Sin Tí," highlighting the amount of material to choose from the period. Because these are familiar—and mostly lovely—songs that have already been recorded in Spanish, the listener can easily assimilate them, especially in El Puma's distinctive, elegant voice. And some of the arrangements, notably the big band feel of "Con," mark a departure from the original yet are right on the mark. By the same token, there's a fine line between nostalgia and kitsch. Do we really need another version of "Butterfly" or "Sólo Puedo Mirar Atrás (Africa)"? If such songs are fond memories for you, you'll enjoy the look back. But if you cringed then, you'll cringe now.—LC

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